Solar cycle

solarcycle_soho.jpg (89 KB)

Explanation: Every eleven years, our Sun goes through a solar cycle. A complete solar cycle has now been imaged by the sun-orbiting SOHO spacecraft, celebrating the 12th anniversary of its launch yesterday. A solar cycle is caused by the changing magnetic field of the Sun, and varies from solar maximum, when sunspot, coronal mass ejection, and flare phenomena are most frequent, to solar minimum, when such activity is relatively infrequent. Solar minimums occurred in 1996 and 2007, while the last solar maximum occurred in 2001. This picture is composed of a SOHO image of the Sun in extreme ultraviolet light for each year of the last solar cycle, with images picked to illustrate the relative activity of the Sun.

Found on Astronomy Picture of the Day.

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    16 Responses to Solar cycle

    1. so 2012 is the next peak?

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    2. @ Pants

      That’s what it looks like. The closer it gets, the more this silly 12/21/12 thing seems possible. Lots of funky shit lining up in 2012.

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    3. Please, no more posts where I have to read paragraph after paragraph of educational stuff. MCS time is meant to be funny time.

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    4. i bow to the majestic awesomeness of the sun.

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    5. hah, awesome that it peaks in in 2012. I’ll have to make sure that i have some cactus juice ready for the winter solstice.

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    6. Cillian Murphy will save us. No sweat.

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    7. @wookie_x

      lol i dont get that whole thing… i know its the end of the mayan year and age of aquarius, but what does it mean? i would think if anything was gonna happen, itd be on 6/6/06 but all that happened was the release of the omen (which was a rather decent picture :D)

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    8. does our solar system move to the southern hemisphere of our galaxy in 2012?

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    9. The end of the world is 2012 … right, as soon as I believe that is when I get fitted for a tin foil hat. Just because some bare footed, coca leaf chewing, non-wheel using, child sacrificing failure of a civilization says the world is going to end because they got tired of making calendars out of rock, doesn’t make them any more accurate about predicting the “end” then all the other fools throughout the centuries. Also, Mr. Sun has gone to “solar max” over 900 times in the last 10,000 years and the world hasn’t end yet because of it, so why now?

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    10. If anybody buys the whole Mayan calendar nonsense, please step away from the internets.

      If you believe that a bunch of savages can predict accurately the end of the world without any sophisticated astronomical observation tools – get your head checked.

      The Mayan calendar bullshit is the same as the Y2K scare (though that one actually had some facts behind it)

      Its the same as trying to predict the Rapture. I can’t recall the name, but one of the Cristian fanatic faiths has been pushing away the rapture every 15 years or so. Oh its happening on 1915, 1930. still nothing. 1945?(good guess though) 1960?no? Its just useless bullshit.

      Still, if I recall in some African country a couple hundred people locked themselves in a church waiting for the year to become 2000, as it was though that it was the end of the world.
      2000 came. and nothing happened. They started panicking and shooting each other.

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    11. @ Pants

      According to Terrence McKenna and others, it’s the end of the Mayan Long Cycle calendar. Some believe that this will lead to a “new age” in humanity. Just exactly what this new age entails is anyone’s guess. Personally, I think it meant that they’d have to carve a new calendar. In Reality, well, that’s the date of the Winter Solstice (but that doesn’t mean much any more).

      At various times that year the following events will happen:

      433 Eros, the second-largest Near Earth Object on record is expected to pass Earth at a distance of around 16.6 million miles.

      Various presidential elections, including the US.

      The Kyoto Accords will expire.

      A solar and lunar eclipse will happen (though not simultaneously).

      The summer Olympics in London.

      Alot of other crap that most people don’t care about.

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    12. You’d think if the Mayans could do something amazing like predict the end of the world, they could be savvy enough to not get completely wiped out.

      re: wookie_x’s list: there’s a bunch of shit happening all the time. Look at any year with a Presidential election in the past century–there’s also always an Olympics that year. *Something* ends that year and likely there’s a random space event going on too.

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    13. I just thought it was a cool pic.

      @the-duck, sorry it’s how I roll. Maybe you can just hold a piece of paper over the text. 😉

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    14. @ Rattybad

      Thanks for totally missing the point of the list. OF COURSE there’s a bunch of shit that’s totally mundane and barely worth mentioning happening! Why do you think I ended the list with “Alot of other crap that most people don’t care about”? For fucks sake man, grow a clue!

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    15. nyoki I enjoyed your pic just for looking cool, and being semi interesting.

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