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Scientists Claim To Have Cracked Spotless Sun Mystery by Lester Haines
Thursday, March 3rd 2011, 8:53 AM EST
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
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Sunspot cycles over the last century. The blue curve shows the cyclic variation in the number of sunspots. Red bars show the cumulative number of sunspot-less days. The minimum of sunspot cycle 23 was the longest in the space age with the largest number of spotless days. Credit: Dibyendu Nandi et al.

Scientists reckon they've cracked the mystery as to why during 2008-2009, the Sun was completely devoid of sunspots for almost two years.

This deepest solar minimum in a century, marking the end of sunspot cycle 23, saw the Sun's global magnetic field and solar wind weaken, allowing dangerous cosmic rays to sweep the inner solar system.

It also prompted a cooling and collapse of Earth's upper atmosphere in the absence of the UV ray heating normally provided by sunspot activity.

"Space junk stopped decaying as rapidly as usual and started accumulating in Earth orbit," NASA explains.

See Also: Researchers Crack the Mystery of the Missing Sunspots - science.nasa.gov

Click source to read FULL report from TheRegister.co.uk
Source Link: theregister.co.uk
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