Drop in Solar Activity a Significant

The sun has reached a milestone not seen for nearly a century. The entire month of August passed without a single visible sunspot.
The event is significant as many climatologists believe solar magnetic activity — which determines the number of sunspots — influences climate on earth.
According to data from Mount Wilson Observatory, UCLA, more than an entire month has passed without a spot.
The last time such an event occurred was June 1913. Sunspot data has been collected since 1749.
This year corresponds to the start of Solar Cycle 24 and has been extraordinarily long and quiet, with the first seven months averaging three sunspots. August followed with none at all. The astonishing rapid drop of the past year has defied predictions, and caught nearly all astronomers by surprise, according to the Dailytech Web site.
In the past 1,000 years, three previous such events — the Dalton, Maunder, and Sp?rer Minimums, have all led to rapid cooling. One was large enough to be called a “mini ice age.” In the 95 years since 1913, the sun has been active. But, activity has declined in the last eight years. The sun today is a nearly featureless sphere and has been spotless for 43 days.



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