Thursday, June 03, 2004

Science Daily: 17th Century Solar Oddity Believed Linked To Global Cooling Is Rare Among Nearby Stars

6/3/04 UC Berkeley-
"For 70 years, from 1645 until 1714, early astronomers reported almost no sunspot activity. The number of sunspots - cooler areas on the sun that appear dark against the brighter surroundings - dropped a thousandfold, according to some estimates. Though activity on the sun ebbs and flows today in an 11-year cycle, it has not been that quiet since. "
Sunspots are pretty important because of the potential impact they have on our climate, space missions, communications satellites, etc. There have been a few recent press releases about sunspots because of the Denver meeting of American Astronomical Society (AAS).
Another interesting one: "Groundbreaking Research To Improve Forecasts Of Sunspot Cycle" Science Daily, 6/1/04.
"Using a new computer model of the Sun, scientists have begun work on a groundbreaking forecast of the next cycle of sunspots. Mausumi Dikpati of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) announced new research leading to an improved forecast of cycle 24"

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