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Science Forum

  1. 19 Nov '10 01:50
    "The Sun is currently behaving unexpectedly in a number of ways.

    * It is in the midst of an unusual sunspot minimum, lasting far longer and with a higher percentage of spotless days than normal; since May 2008.

    * It is measurably dimming; its output has dropped 0.02% at visible wavelengths and 6% at EUV wavelengths in comparison with the levels at the last solar minimum.

    * Over the last two decades, the solar wind's speed has dropped by 3%, its temperature by 13%, and its density by 20%.

    * Its magnetic field is at less than half strength compared to the minimum of 22 years ago. The entire heliosphere, which fills the Solar System, has shrunk as a result, resulting in an increase in the level of cosmic radiation striking the Earth and its atmosphere."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun#Present_anomalies

    [Edit: Asterisks inserted. Reference numbers deleted. They may be found in the linked page.]
  2. Standard member PBE6
    Bananarama
    19 Nov '10 14:11
    Originally posted by Taoman
    "The Sun is currently behaving unexpectedly in a number of ways.

    * It is in the midst of an unusual sunspot minimum, lasting far longer and with a higher percentage of spotless days than normal; since May 2008.

    * It is measurably dimming; its output has dropped 0.02% at visible wavelengths and 6% at EUV wavelengths in comparison with the levels at the l ...[text shortened]...
    [Edit: Asterisks inserted. Reference numbers deleted. They may be found in the linked page.]
    Would you say it's time for people at home to crack each other's heads open and feast on the goo inside?
  3. 20 Nov '10 15:14
    Originally posted by PBE6
    Would you say it's time for people at home to crack each other's heads open and feast on the goo inside?
    Not clear yet.
  4. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Do ya think?
    21 Nov '10 06:19
    Originally posted by PBE6
    Would you say it's time for people at home to crack each other's heads open and feast on the goo inside?
    Will that stop the Sun from anomalyzing?
  5. Subscriber SmookieP
    Lead, Follow, or..
    21 Nov '10 09:00
    Originally posted by Taoman
    "The Sun is currently behaving unexpectedly in a number of ways.

    * It is in the midst of an unusual sunspot minimum, lasting far longer and with a higher percentage of spotless days than normal; since May 2008.

    * It is measurably dimming; its output has dropped 0.02% at visible wavelengths and 6% at EUV wavelengths in comparison with the levels at the l ...[text shortened]...
    [Edit: Asterisks inserted. Reference numbers deleted. They may be found in the linked page.]
    2 decades?
    Anomalies compared to what?

    I don't think our records go back far enough ..
    Give it 50 million years or so.
  6. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    22 Nov '10 12:05 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by SmookieP
    2 decades?
    Anomalies compared to what?

    I don't think our records go back far enough ..
    Give it 50 million years or so.
    Actually they do. Ever hear of the Maunder minimum? Or the little ice age? It seems just when Europe was starting to recover from the death of the Roman Empire, around the year 900 winters got so bad that rivers froze over and the growing season went to practically zero, they think the starvation that happened and the black death and all were a direct result of a solar minimum, causing the dark ages.

    The same thing happened on a slightly lesser scale around the year 1400 or so. In that one, there were astronomers noting events on the sun and found pretty much zero sunspots for something like 100 years.

    People who track such things I think are worried about another recurrence of the same thing, extreme winter in Europe causing mass starvation and the like.
  7. 22 Nov '10 12:15
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Actually they do. Ever hear of the Maunder minimum? Or the little ice age? It seems just when Europe was starting to recover from the death of the Roman Empire, around the year 900 winters got so bad that rivers froze over and the growing season went to practically zero, they think the starvation that happened and the black death and all were a direct resul ...[text shortened]... her recurrence of the same thing, extreme winter in Europe causing mass starvation and the like.
    Yes, people have been observing, but accurate observations have only been going on for a couple of decades.
  8. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    22 Nov '10 12:52 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Yes, people have been observing, but accurate observations have only been going on for a couple of decades.
    It is relatively easy to see visually without aids whether there are large sunspots or not. The era's I am talking about showed zero visible sunspots. This was supported by observations around the planet for a century or more by many cultures, China, for instance.

    Those disastrous times were not times of 10 percent reductions which would have taken modern instrumentation, we are talking about NO sunspots, a much easier proposition for early visual astronomers.
  9. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    22 Nov '10 14:12
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    It is relatively easy to see visually without aids whether there are large sunspots or not. The era's I am talking about showed zero visible sunspots. This was supported by observations around the planet for a century or more by many cultures, China, for instance.

    Those disastrous times were not times of 10 percent reductions which would have taken moder ...[text shortened]... tion, we are talking about NO sunspots, a much easier proposition for early visual astronomers.
    Here is a wiki link about the subject:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maunder_Minimum
  10. Standard member PBE6
    Bananarama
    22 Nov '10 15:12
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Will that stop the Sun from anomalyzing?
    The correct answer is:

    "Yes I would, Kent."
  11. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    22 Nov '10 15:52
    Originally posted by PBE6
    The correct answer is:

    "Yes I would, Kent."
    So just what would Supey do to make more sunspots? Dive in an stir things up?
    I know he is strong but can his suit take 6000 degrees?
  12. Standard member PBE6
    Bananarama
    22 Nov '10 17:05
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    So just what would Supey do to make more sunspots? Dive in an stir things up?
    I know he is strong but can his suit take 6000 degrees?
    I think he could handle it. In "DC One Million" Superman recreates his Fortress of Solitude in the centre of the sun, then proceeds to live there in self-imposed exile for 15,000 years!

    But the Kent I was referring to is Kent Brockman of The Simpsons' fame. Here's the actual quote:

    "Professor, without knowing precisely what the danger is, would you say it's time for our viewers to crack each other's heads open and feast on the goo inside?"

    "Yes I would, Kent."
  13. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    22 Nov '10 20:51
    Originally posted by PBE6
    I think he could handle it. In "DC One Million" Superman recreates his Fortress of Solitude in the centre of the sun, then proceeds to live there in self-imposed exile for 15,000 years!

    But the Kent I was referring to is Kent Brockman of The Simpsons' fame. Here's the actual quote:

    "Professor, without knowing precisely what the danger is, would you say ...[text shortened]... to crack each other's heads open and feast on the goo inside?"

    "Yes I would, Kent."
    Solly cholly I stand collected.
  14. 23 Nov '10 12:42
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Actually they do. Ever hear of the Maunder minimum? Or the little ice age? It seems just when Europe was starting to recover from the death of the Roman Empire, around the year 900 winters got so bad that rivers froze over and the growing season went to practically zero, they think the starvation that happened and the black death and all were a direct resul ...[text shortened]... her recurrence of the same thing, extreme winter in Europe causing mass starvation and the like.
    I hadn't made much of it, just thought it was an interesting set of data. The extra info in the posts certainly adds to the interesting times we live in. There was some talk of the sun having a positive effect on global warming, but this data appears to drop that idea, well and truly.

    Perhaps we'd better get stokin all those new power stations up a bit?

    Nah, best not.