‘Quiet Sun’ baffling astronomers

By | April 21, 2009

_45683527_sunThe Sun is the dimmest it has been for nearly a century.

There are no sunspots, very few solar flares – and our nearest star is the quietest it has been for a very long time.

The observations are baffling astronomers, who are due to study new pictures of the Sun, taken from space, at the UK National Astronomy Meeting.

The Sun normally undergoes an 11-year cycle of activity. At its peak, it has a tumultuous boiling atmosphere that spits out flares and planet-sized chunks of super-hot gas. This is followed by a calmer period.

Last year, it was expected that it would have been hotting up after a quiet spell. But instead it hit a 50-year year low in solar wind pressure, a 55-year low in radio emissions, and a 100-year low in sunspot activity.

According to Prof Louise Hara of University College London, it is unclear why this is happening or when the Sun is likely to become more active again.

“There’s no sign of us coming out of it yet,” she told BBC News.

“At the moment, there are scientific papers coming out suggesting that we’ll be going into a normal period of activity soon.

“Others are suggesting we’ll be going into another minimum period – this is a big scientific debate at the moment.”

via BBC NEWS | Science & Environment | ‘Quiet Sun’ baffling astronomers.

One thought on “‘Quiet Sun’ baffling astronomers

  1. Jared

    Luke 21:25-28 And there will be strange signs in the sun, moon, and stars. And here on earth the nations will be in turmoil, perplexed by the roaring seas and strange tides. People will be terrified at what they see coming upon earth, for the powers in the heavens will be shaken. Then everyone will see the Son of Man coming, on a cloud with power and great glory. So when all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near!

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