The Quiet Sun: Update

Today's Sun - April 21, 2009 (Spaceweather.com)

Today's Sun - April 21, 2009 (Spaceweather.com)

Earlier this month, we discussed the current most quiescent solar minimum in a century. Today, the BBC News offers an update with ‘Quiet Sun’ Baffling Astronomers. Professor Mike Lockwood of Southampton University indicates that “if you look carefully at the observations, it’s pretty clear that the underlying level of the Sun peaked at about 1985 and what we are seeing is a continuation of a downward trend (in solar activity) that’s been going on for a couple of decades. If the Sun’s dimming were to have a cooling effect, we’d have seen it by now.”

And as Spaceweather.com reports today, “breaking a string of 25 consecutive spotless days, a new sunspot is forming near the sun’s northwestern limb. The magnetic polarity of the spot identifies it as a member of new Solar Cycle 24.” This is the seventh sunspot of the new cycle. (Spaceweather.com explains the calculation of sunspot numbers here.)

[If you haven’t yet seen it, here’s an absolutely fantastic five-minute Youtube video on solar satellitesSOHO and TRACE Solar Discoveries from NASA.]

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Published in: on April 21, 2009 at 11:42 am  Leave a Comment  

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