Researchers discover new clues to determining the solar cycle

Approximately every 11 years, the sun undergoes a complete personality change from quiet and calm to violently active. The height of the sun's activity, known as solar maximum, is a time of numerous sunspots, punctuated with ...

The sun also flips: 11-year solar cycle wimpy, but peaking

(Phys.org) —In a 3-meter diameter hollow aluminum sphere, Cary Forest, a UW-Madison physics professor, is stirring and heating plasmas to 500,000 degrees Fahrenheit to experimentally mimic the magnetic field-inducing cosmic ...

What's down with the Sun? Major drop in solar activity predicted

(PhysOrg.com) -- A missing jet stream, fading spots, and slower activity near the poles say that our Sun is heading for a rest period even as it is acting up for the first time in years, according to scientists at the National ...

Sunspots could soon disappear for decades: study

(PhysOrg.com) -- Sunspot formation is triggered by a magnetic field, which scientists say is steadily declining. They predict that by 2016 there may be no remaining sunspots, and the sun may stay spotless for several decades. ...

A Puzzling Collapse of Earth's Upper Atmosphere

NASA-funded researchers are monitoring a big event in our planet's atmosphere. High above Earth's surface where the atmosphere meets space, a rarefied layer of gas called "the thermosphere" recently collapsed and now is rebounding ...

Why NASA Keeps a Close Eye on the Sun's Irradiance

(PhysOrg.com) -- For more than two centuries, scientists have wondered how much heat and light the sun expels, and whether this energy varies enough to change Earth’s climate. In the absence of a good method for measuring ...

Are Sunspots Disappearing?

The sun is in the pits of the deepest solar minimum in nearly a century. Weeks and sometimes whole months go by without even a single tiny sunspot. The quiet has dragged out for more than two years, prompting some observers ...

Solar Mystery Solved

(PhysOrg.com) -- Solar flares are amongst the most dangerous cosmic phenomena man has ever known. Though they pose no harm to humans, their effect on technology is vast. When they occur, they possess the capability to knock ...

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