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Surprising Science

Is the Sun About to Hibernate?

Is the sun about to enter a quiet phase in the 11-year solar cycle and what does that mean for our planet? Is there anything in all the talk about another “Little Ice Age”?

What’s the Latest Development?

Despite all the incredible solar flare action we’ve seen in recent months, solar researchers are actually predicting the sun is about to fall into the doldrums, again. Researchers from the National Solar Observatory (NSO) and the Air Force Research Laboratory have collected a number of observations of the solar interior, visible surface and corona (the sun’s atmosphere), and the data suggests that the sunspot cycle may be going into hibernation.

What’s the Big Idea?

“Enjoy the current rash of solar flares and beautiful coronal mass ejections; it might be some time before we see a solar cycle like this again,” says Ian O’Neill. “One thing is for certain–the sun is slowing down and magnetic activity is growing weaker. Could the next solar cycle be the weakest in modern history? Might Cycle 25 not start at all? Are sunspots a thing of the past?”


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