Latest Sunspot Stories
A US-sponsored study suggests scientists expect a below average number of sunspots between now and 2013, when Solar Cycle 24 will peak.
The sun may soon begin moving into a more active period for sunspots, although forecasters predict it will be a fairly mild outbreak.
How low can it go? The Sun is plunging into the deepest solar minimum in nearly a century.
After two-plus years of few sunspots, even fewer solar flares, and a generally eerie calm, the sun is finally showing signs of life.
An unusual absence of sunspots has many experts and record-keepers baffled as they wait to see how much time it takes for them to return to the starâ€™s surface.
The sun is entering its 3rd year of eerie calm. Sunspots are rare and solar flares simply aren't happening. Is this "solar minimum" lasting longer than it should? A NASA scientist has examined centuries of sunspot data to find the answer.
Many solar scientists expected the new sunspot cycle to be a whopper, a prolonged solar tantrum that could fry satellites and raise hell with earthly communications, the power grid and modern electronics. But so far it has been very uneventful.
In September 1859, a solar flare erupted so intense that the explosion itself was visible to the human eye. A ferocious geomagnetic storm ensued in which Northern Lights descended as far south as Cuba, the Bahamas and Hawaii.
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.
A new 11-year cycle of heightened solar activity, bringing with it increased risks for power grids, critical military, civilian and airline communications, GPS signals and even cell phones and ATM transactions, showed signs it was on its way.
Solar Maximum -- The Sun, a roiling ball of plasma, occupies its place in space approximately 93 million miles from Earth. Though it seems simple to inhabitants of this planet -- the Sun shines, giving light and heat -- the processes occurring in the Sun are so complex that many scientists devote their careers to just one aspect of solar activity. Changes in the activity of the Sun particularly engage solar scientists. Whether fluctuations in the solar magnetic field, expulsions of...
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...
- To swell, as grain or wood with water.