Active Region 1002 on an Unusually Quiet Sun

sunspot1002_soho_big.jpg (624 KB)

Explanation: Why has the Sun been so quiet recently? No one is sure. Our Sun has shown few active regions — that house even fewer associated sunspots — for over a year now, and such a period of relative calm is quite unusual. What is well known is that our Sun is in a transitional period between solar cycles called a Solar Minimum, where solar activity has historically been reduced. The stark lack of surface tumult is unusual even during a Solar Minimum, however, and activity this low has not been seen for many decades. A few days ago, however, a bona-fide active region — complete with sunspots –appeared and continues to rotate across the Sun’s face. Visible above, this region, dubbed Active Region 1002 (AR 1002), was imaged in ultraviolet light yesterday by the SOHO spacecraft, which co-orbits the Sun near the Earth. Besides the tranquility on the Sun’s surface, recent data from the Ulysses spacecraft, across the Solar System, indicate that the intensity of the solar wind blowing out from the Sun is at a fifty year low. Predictions hold, however, that our Sun will show more and more active regions containing more and more sunspots and flares until Solar Maximum occurs in about four years.

antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/image/0809/sunspot1002_soho_big.jpg

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    7 Responses to Active Region 1002 on an Unusually Quiet Sun

    1. Cool… Well hot, but still cool… šŸ˜‰

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    2. Now I have to change my S.P.F. again.

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    3. The sunspot was in the form of a square because the square is a sacred geometry. The last minimum point will next become the solar maximum in 2012 which leads us to a point in time where we are then closer to the Aquarian Zodiac rather than the current Piscean Zodic. This should make for many changes, a peak in novelty as Terrance McKenna noted.

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    4. So even the sun is in a recession?

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    5. Does this mean Cillian Murphy’s mission was a success?

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