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July 2, 2011
Is the Sun Taking a Holiday?
On June 14, the National Solar Observatory reported here. "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 Solar Observatory (NSO) and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)." No less than three independent studies reached the same conclusion: the sun is evolving into a quiet period. Quiet periods on the sun correlate with cool and very cold periods in earth's history. The most recent period of very low sunspot activity (low solar activity) is called the Maunder Minimum, a 70 year period of few or no sunspots from 1645 through 1715. This also happened to be about the mid-point of the Little Ice Age which ended in about 1850. The connection between Earth's climate the solar activity as indicated by the solar wind is this: when the solar wind is weak, more galactic cosmic rays enter the inner solar...(Read Full Post)