Latest Solar minimum Stories
Solar Cycle 23, how can we miss you if you won't go away?Barely three months after forecasters announced the beginning of new Solar Cycle 24, old Solar Cycle 23 has returned.
NASA scientists say a new solar cycle is beginning, and this could have important repercussions for space-based technology ranging from GPS navigation to weather satellites.
For more than a year, the sun has been experiencing a lull in activity, marking the end of Solar Cycle 23, which peaked with many furious storms in 2000--2003. "Solar minimum is upon us," he says. The big question now is, when will the next solar cycle begin?
The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) celebrated its twelfth launch anniversary on 2 December 2007. The satellite has witnessed the Sun change through almost a complete solar cycle - from quiet to stormy, and back again.
Although very close to the minimum of its 11-year sunspot cycle, the Sun showed that it is still capable of producing a series of remarkably energetic outbursts. The latest high-latitude excursion of the joint ESA-NASA Ulysses mission has already produced some surprises.
On July 31st, a tiny sunspot was born. It popped up from the sun's interior, floated around a bit, and vanished again in a few hours. On the sun this sort of thing happens all the time and, ordinarily, it wouldn't be worth mentioning. But this sunspot was special: It was backward.
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.
The next sunspot cycle will be 30 to 50 percent stronger than the last one, and begin as much as a year late, according to a breakthrough forecast using a computer model of solar dynamics developed by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo.
Just one week ago, a huge sunspot rounded the sun's eastern limb. As soon as it appeared, it exploded, producing one of the brightest x-ray solar flares of the Space Age. In the days that followed, the growing spot exploded eight more times.
There's a myth about the sun. Teachers teach it. Astronomers repeat it. NASA mission planners are mindful of it. Every 11 years solar activity surges. This is called solar maximum. Now the sun is approaching the opposite extreme of its activity cycle, solar minimum, due in 2006. We can relax because, right?
Solar cycles: what are they and why should we care about them? Solar cycles are made up of what are known as solar minimums (min) and solar maximums (max). We refer to a solar min at the time when the sun is not active with many sunspots, while a solar max is just the opposite when we see a large increase in sunspot activity. So how long do solar cycles last? Typically they run on what is known as an 11 year cycle from the max to the min and then start over again anew. As of 2012 we...
Sunspot -- A sunspot is a region on the Sun's surface (photosphere) that is marked by a lower temperature than its surroundings, and intense magnetic activity. Although they are blindingly bright, at temperatures of roughly 5000 Kelvin, the contrast with the surrounding material at some 6000 Kelvin leaves them clearly visible as dark spots. Interestingly, if they were isolated from the surrounding photosphere they would be brighter than an electric arc. History Apparent references...
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