Science

Sun goes into ‘solar minimum’

The reason rays increase is due to the absence of sunspots — dark spots that appear on the surface of the Sun created by magnetic fields that flood earth with X-ray and ultraviolet radiation.According to Dean Pesnell of Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Center, a solar minimum which is a “regular part of the sunspot cycle” means the magnetic field of the Sun is weak. This results in the injection of extra cosmic rays into the solar system.

Neutron counts from the Sodankyla Geophysical Observatory of the University of Oulu show that cosmic rays reaching Earth in 2020 are close to a “peak of the Space Age,” Dr. Tony Phillips wrote on his website.”The sun has been blank 76 percent of the time so far this year, a figure that exceeded in the Space Age just once before. The sun was dark 77 per cent of the time last year, 2019. Two consecutive years of record-setting spotlessness add up to a very deep Solar Minimum, “Phillips wrote as well, thus indicating that” excess cosmic rays … influence the upper atmosphere of Earth’s electro-chemistry and may impact the atmosphere.

Some have hypothesized that the decreased sun production may result in a “Small Ice Age,” similar to that which occurred between the 14th and 19th centuries and which occurred in tandem with the expansion of mountain glaciers in the European Alps, New Zealand, and Alaska among other areas, and lower temperatures throughout the northern hemisphere.

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Jason Amato

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