Thursday, June 16, 2011

Our Sun is changing ?

There have been so many stories circulating around the internet regarding our sun in the past few years. Some border on the bizarre, such as ‘The Sun is mutating matter’, or the ridiculously incongruous, such as ‘fleet of alien ships gathering around near the sun’. There seems to be a conspiracy for every taste out there.

I had decided a while ago to stay clear of this theme due to its association to 2012 doomsday scenarios but this one story peaked my interest because it is an official story just discovered by credible scientists.

Anyone interested in this topic probably knows about the new discovery announced on June 14th in a meeting of the Solar Physics Division of The American Astronomical Society regarding our star.

Our sun goes through 11 year cycles called Solar Minimum and Solar Maximum. This solar cycle was discovered in 1843 by a German astronomer. We should be seeing the beginning of the 'so called' Solar Maximum 24 which should result in an increase of sun spots and solar storms, but the problem is, the regular cycle is changing and the sun is now quieting down and its magnetic field appears to be weakening. This Solar hibernation could last decades and we might not even see a Solar Maximum 25.

Though this phenomenon has never been studied by modern science, 3 past events called Spörer Minimum in 1460, Maunder Minimum in 1645, and the Dalton Minimum in 1790 have been recorded in recent history, with quiet solar periods ranging from 30 to 90 years. All three events recorded lower than normal temperatures, possibly due to an increase in volcanic activity. The Maunder Minimum also coincided with what was referred to as the ‘Little Ice Age’ in Europe, though a connection to low sun spot activity has not been proven.


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