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Space News Archive - March 12, 2006

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It's official: Solar minimum has arrived. Sunspots have all but vanished. Solar flares are nonexistent. The sun is utterly quiet. Like the quiet before a storm. It's coming -- the most intense solar maximum in fifty years.

Word of the Day
toccata
  • In music, a work for a keyboard-instrument, like the pianoforte or organ, originally intended to utilize and display varieties of touch: but the term has been extended so as to include many irregular works, similar to the prelude, the fantasia, and the improvisation.
This word is Italian in origin, coming from the feminine past participle of 'toccare,' to touch.
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