Space: The Sun Goes Quiet: Solar Minimum is Coming

Space: The Sun Goes Quiet: Solar Minimum is Coming

Awesome Space: The Sun Goes Quiet: Solar Minimum is Coming



Intense solar activity such as sunspots and solar flares subsides during solar minimum, but that doesn’t mean the sun becomes dull. Solar activity simply changes form.

High up in the clear blue noontime sky, the sun appears to be much the same day-in, day-out, year after year.

But astronomers have long known that this is not true. The sun does change. Properly-filtered telescopes reveal a fiery disk often speckled with dark sunspots. Sunspots are strongly magnetized, and they crackle with solar flares—magnetic explosions that illuminate Earth with flashes of X-rays and extreme ultraviolet radiation. The sun is a seething mass of activity.

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