Funky Sun

The Sun has been in what could be described as a funk for the past several years.  The Sun has an approximate 11 year cycle of sun spots going from solar maximum with many spots to solar minimum with few spots over those 11 years.  From 2008 through early 2010 the Sun had the longest solar minimum in 100 years and even now with the Sun moving toward solar maximum, sun spots numbers have been very low.  If current research is correct, this lack of sunspots may become a common trend in the upcoming decades.

The American Astronomical Society issued a press release last week stating that sunspots may be on the way out and an extended solar minimum may be on the horizon.  In fact, some scientists are wondering if this drop in activity would lead to another so called Maunder Minimum, a period from 1645 to 1715 when the Sun had virtually no spots.  Historically, the planet has cooled off noticeably during times when the Sun produces few spots.

We live in interesting times.

Click for Press Release here.


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