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19/05/2020

What is a "Solar Minimum" in which Sun is about to Enter !

Sun reportedly entering 'Solar Minimum': What's the phenomenon and why is it happening now?

  • The sun is reported to have been blank 76 per cent of the time
  • Sun has a cycle that lasts on average 11 years, and right now we are at the peak of that cycle

What is solar minimum and why is it happening now?

Sun has a cycle that lasts on average 11 years, and right now we are at the peak of that cycle.
"Every 11 years or so, sunspots fade away, bringing a period of relative calm. This is called the solar minimum. And it’s a regular part of the sunspot cycle.” Dean Pesnell of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD noted in a 2017 NASA blog post.

"While intense activity such as sunspots and solar flares subside during solar minimum, that doesn’t mean the sun becomes dull. Solar activity simply changes form. For instance, says Pesnell, “during solar minimum we can see the development of long-lived coronal holes.”

Will this affect us?

This may cause health risks to astronauts travelling through space as "the sun’s magnetic field weakens and provides less shielding from these cosmic rays."
But, there is nothing to worry as such.

What happens in a solar minimum?

During solar minimum, the effects of Earth's upper atmosphere on satellites in low Earth orbit changes too. Normally Earth's upper atmosphere is heated and puffed up by ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Satellites in low Earth orbit experience friction as they skim through the outskirts of our atmosphere.

How does a solar minimum affect weather?

By solar minimum, we mean the lowest number of sunspots. After some years of high activity, the Sun will ramp down with fewer sunspots or almost no sunspots. The temperature cools. Conversely, solar maximum is the highest number of sunspots in any given cycle.

How long do solar minimums last?

The date of the minimum is described by a smoothed average over 12 months of sunspot activity, so identifying the date of the solar minimum usually can only happen 6 months after the minimum takes place.

What happens during a solar maximum?

Solar maximum or solar max is a regular period of greatest Sun activity during the 11-year solar cycle. During solar maximum, large numbers of sunspots appear, and the solar irradiance output grows by about 0.07%

What is the difference between solar minimum and solar maximum?

The sun goes through a natural solar cycle approximately every 11 years. ... The greatest number of sunspots in any given solar cycle is designated as "solar maximum." The lowest number is "solar minimum." The solar cycle provides more than just increased sunspots, however.
Here is a NASA Video about Solar Minimum.
  

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