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Twin Peaks For Solar Cycle?
2013-03-02 07:29:34

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online While 2013 is supposed to be the year of Solar Max - the peak of the 11-year sunspot cycle - the relatively low solar activity recorded thus far has led experts to conclude that an unusual phenomenon has occurred. This most recent solar cycle has had not one but two peaks. According to NASA, sunspot numbers during the months of January and February 2013 were well below values recorded back in 2011. Furthermore, they report that...

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2008-11-07 12:55:00

After two-plus years of few sunspots, even fewer solar flares, and a generally eerie calm, the sun is finally showing signs of life. "I think solar minimum is behind us," says sunspot forecaster David Hathaway of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. His statement is prompted by an October flurry of sunspots. "Last month we counted five sunspot groups," he says. That may not sound like much, but in a year with record-low numbers of sunspots and long stretches of utter spotlessness, five is...

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2008-07-12 17:50:00

Stop the presses! The sun is behaving normally. So says NASA solar physicist David Hathaway. "There have been some reports lately that Solar Minimum is lasting longer than it should. That's not true. The ongoing lull in sunspot number is well within historic norms for the solar cycle." This report, that there's nothing to report, is newsworthy because of a growing buzz in lay and academic circles that something is wrong with the sun. Sun Goes Longer Than Normal Without Producing Sunspots...

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2007-08-13 11:35:00

A new study reveals correlations between plentiful sunspots and periods of heavy rain in East Africa. Intense rainfall in the region often leads to flooding and disease outbreaks. The findings shed light on how life on Earth can be affected by changes in the Solar System environment. Understanding the links between the Sun and Earth is also important for astrobiologists trying to define what conditions make a planet habitable. The analysis by a team of U.S. and British researchers shows that...

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2006-08-17 08:00:00

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. "We've been waiting for this," says David Hathaway, a solar physicist at the Marshall Space Flight in Huntsville, Alabama. "A backward sunspot is a sign that the next solar cycle is beginning." "Backward" means...


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4_641fa07d2f22a90aec48fb5581337d772
2004-10-19 04:45:41

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...

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Word of the Day
drawcansir
  • A blustering, bullying fellow; a pot-valiant braggart; a bully.
This word is named for Draw-Can-Sir, a character in George Villiers' 17th century play The Rehearsal.
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