Climate controls: sun spots (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Friday, March 25, 2022, 18:41 (558 days ago)

Our sun has eleven year cycles in abundance or not of spots:

"On a cycle-to-cycle basis, it can be hard to predict how much activity our Sun is going to go through; but there is always an increase to maximum sunspot activity, and a decrease back down to minimum.

"Well, almost always. In the 17th century, the Sun went through a period in which almost no sunspots appeared at all. From 1645 to 1715, this period encompassed several solar cycles, and is known as the Maunder minimum.

"'This strange irregularity has long perplexed scientists; now, another nearby star could finally have the answer. It seems to have gone into a similar period of dormancy – and watching what it does could help us figure out what the heck our own Sun was up to.

"'We don't really know what caused the Maunder minimum, and we have been looking to other sun-like stars to see if they can offer some insight," says physicist Anna Baum, formerly of Pennsylvania State University, now at Lehigh University.


"The solar cycle is based on the Sun's magnetic field, generated by the action of a dynamo process in the stellar interior. Every 11 years, the solar magnetic field flips, with its north and south magnetic poles switching places. Astronomers have been observing sunspots from about 1610, including by Galileo Galilei, and the first solar cycle on record started in 1755.

"The solar minimum – characterized by a minimal level of sunspot and flare activity – marks the end of one cycle and the beginning of a new one, and it occurs when the Sun's magnetic field is at its weakest.

"This is because the Sun's magnetic field controls its activity: sunspots are temporary regions of strong magnetic fields, while coronal mass ejections and solar flares are produced by a release of energy when magnetic field lines tangle, snap and reconnect. So as the magnetic field strengthens, it stands to reason that there would be an increase in solar activity.


"'There's a big debate about what the Maunder minimum was," Baum said.

"'Did the Sun's magnetic field basically turn off? Did it lose its dynamo? Or was it still cycling but at a very low level that didn't produce many sunspots? We can't go back in time to take measurements of what it was like, but if we can characterize the magnetic structure and magnetic field strength of this star, we might start to get some answers."

"This, in turn, could help us get a better handle on solar weather, which has important implications for Earth and the rest of the Solar System. And it could help us better understand how stars work: what drives them, and what goes on in their mysterious hearts."

Comment: Sun spots relate to the sun 's heat radiance, if we get warmer or colder. Right now we are in a deep minimum which cools the Earth while greenhouse gases increase the global temperature. Ignoring media hysteria, recently we have had a 20+ pause in global heat rising, then a slight rise and now a 7+ year pause, per satellite data. Probably due to low sun spots. The Maunder relates exactly to the Little Ice age. An other one and we'll get cold. And there will be another one, despite frantic and useless railing by the UN. We just don't know when.

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