Andy Rendle asked:
As it seems that we are soon in for a magnetic polar switch, does this happen on other planets in our solar system? Does it happen to a star?
Don't know if we are?
Current theories suggest that the magnetic field of the Earth and the Sun originate in a turbulent conductive layer - for Earth this is molten nickel/iron in the outer core; for the Sun this turbulent layer is composed of hot plasma. Magnetic fields with reversals have been reproduced in the laboratory and computer simulations.
Evan, you keep impressing me with your facts :) yor_on, Thu, 2nd May 2013
I find that Wikipedia has a pretty accessible explanation of most topics - provided you know what keywords to search for... evan_au, Fri, 3rd May 2013
We also know that the sunspot cycle of the sun was very different shortly after the sunspots were discovered about 400 years ago during the period know as the Maunder Minimum
Someone still need to put them together Evan, there are a lot of facts out there, but getting them comprehensive and joining them takes time, and understanding. Otherwise I definitely agree, I think Internet is the biggest invention since the wheel, having the potential to revolutionize our understanding of each other, as well as educate ourselves in our own time.