Slumbering sun still more blank, spotless than usual

Slumbering sun still more blank, spotless than usual
The face of solar sloth. (Image: NASA SDO via Vencore Weather)

The face of the sun was nearly spotless this month as our star marches toward solar minimum, hitting its lowest activity level since 2011.

Images captured by Nasa’s Solar Dynamics Observatory from Nov 14-18 reveal just a handful of barely-visible spots on the surface of the sun, which is otherwise as blank as a cue ball.

According to Nasa, the number of sunspots appears to be dwindling faster than expected.

But, following the last activity peak in early 2014, they say the solar minimum shouldn’t come until 2021. …

In late June, it was revealed that the sun had entered the quietest period for more than a century. …

A study last year claimed to have cracked predicting solar cycles – and says that between 2020 and 2030 solar cycles will cancel each other out.

This, they say, will lead to another ‘Maunder minimum’ – which has previously been known as a mini ice age when it hit between 1646 and 1715.

The model of the sun’s solar cycle produced unprecedentedly accurate predictions of irregularities within the sun’s 11-year heartbeat.

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