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October 31, 2011

The Sunspot Cycle

The number of sunspots on the sun is constantly changing overtime. The average sunspot cycle is about eleven year, although not always exact. When the number of sunspots reach the highest point, it is called solar maximum, while when the sun reaches the lowest point, it is called solar minimum. With increased sunspots, the amount of solar activity increases as well.
Currently, the number of sunspots is increasing, on its way to the solar maximum. Scientists speculate that the sunspots are caused by a magnetic phenomenon. The north and south poles of the sun are eventually completely reversed as the inside matter is constantly stretching, twisting, and crossing.
The increase in sunspots is taking longer than usual, and scientists epect a slower than usual cycle, but the cause of this is unclear.

For full article, go to:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sunearth/news/solarcycle-primer.html

Posted by charwei at October 31, 2011 03:33 AM

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