The sun is quieter than normal, but don’t panic | CBC News

The sun is quieter than normal, but don’t panic | CBC News

In February, for the first time since August 2008, the sun went an entire month without any sunspots.

Sunspots are cooler regions of the sun. How many appear on the sun’s surface depends on what cycle the sun is in. Every 11 years our star goes through a maximum, followed by a minimum (the entire magnetic cycle of the sun, when the poles flip, is 22 years).

Over the past three decades, the sun has been consistently dropping in activity. Maximum has been quieter than is typical; minimum has been particularly quiet. And this has caused some to make the false assumption that, as a result, Earth is going to cool.

“No Maunder Minimum. Certainly no Little Ice Age,” said David Hathaway, an astrophysicist who once headed NASA’s solar physics branch at the Marshall Space Flight Center. “The next cycle looks like it’s going to be very much like this one.”

via The sun is quieter than normal, but don’t panic | CBC News