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Ironically, the Maunder Minimum also began just a few decades

Are We Headed Towards Another Deep Solar Minimum

Canada Goose sale Have you been keeping an eye on Sol lately? One of the top astronomy stories for 2018 may be what not happening, and how inactive our host star has become. Canada Goose sale

The strange tale of Solar Cycle 24 is ending with an expected whimper: as of May 8th, the Earthward face of the Sun had been spotless for 73 out of 128 days canada goose clothing uk thus canada goose outlet los angeles far for 2018, or more than 57% of the time. This wasn entirely unexpected, as the solar minimum between solar cycle 23 and 24 saw 260 spotless days in 2009 the most recorded in a single year since 1913. Cycle 24 got off to a late and sputtering start, and though it produced some whopper sunspots reminiscent of the Sol we knew and loved on 20th century cycles past, it was a chronic under performer overall. Mid 2018 may see the end of cycle 24 and the start of Cycle 25 or will it?

One nice surprise during Cycle 24 was the appearance of canada goose outlet ottawa massive sunspot AR 2192, which popped up just in time for the partial solar eclipse of October 23rd, 2014. Several times the size of the Earth, the spot complex was actually the largest seen in a quarter century. But just as “one swallow does not a Summer make,” canada goose outlet paypal one large sunspot group couldn save Solar Cycle 24.

canada goose deals The partial eclipse of the Sun, October 23, 2014, as seen from Jasper, Alberta, shot under clear skies through a mylar filter, on the front of a 66mm f/6 apo refractor using the Canon 60Da for 1/8000 (!) sec exposure at ISO 100. The colors are natural, with the mylar filter providing a neutral “white light” image. The big sunspot on the Sun that day is just beginning to disappear behind the Moon’s limb. The mylar filter gave a white Sun, its natural colour, but I have tinted the Sun’s disk yellow for a more pleasing view that is not just white Sun/black sky. canada goose parka uk The hallmark of a new solar cycle is the appearance of those high latitude spots. The Sun actually flips overall polarity every cycle, so a proper Hale Cycle for the Sun is canada goose outlet real actually 11 x 2 = 22 years long. canada goose deals

canada goose clearance A big gaseous fusion bomb, the Sun actually rotates once every 25 days near its equator, and 34 days at the poles. The Sun rotational axis is also tipped 7.25 degrees relative to canada goose outlet shop the ecliptic, with the canada goose outlet in new york northern rotational pole tipped towards us in early September, while the southern pole nods towards us in early March. canada goose clearance

buy canada goose jacket cheap An animation of massive susnpot AR 2192 crossing the Earthward face of Sol from October 17th to October 29th, 2014. Credit: NASA/SDO. buy canada goose jacket cheap

canada goose black friday sale What is store for Cycle 25? One thing for certain: if the current trend continues, with spotless days more the rule than the exception, we could be in for a deep profound solar minimum through the 2018 canada goose outlet us to 2020 season, the likes of which would be unprecedented in modern astronomy. canada goose black friday sale

Fun fact: a similar dearth canada goose outlet of sunspots was documented during the 1645 1715 period referred to as the Maunder Minimum. During this canada goose jacket outlet uk time, crops failed and the Thames River in London froze, making “frost fairs” along its frozen shores possible. Ironically, the Maunder Minimum also began just a few decades after the dawn of the age of telescopic astronomy. During this time, the idea of “spots on the Sun” was regulated to a controversial, and almost mythical status in mainstream astronomy.

buy canada goose jacket Keeping Vigil on a Tempestuous (?) Star buy canada goose jacket

Canada Goose Parka We managed to study the last two solar cycles with unprecedented scrutiny. NASA STEREO A and B spacecraft (Only A is currently active) monitors the farside of the Sun from different vantage points. The Solar Dynamics Observatory (NASA SDO) keeps watch on the Sun across the electromagnetic spectrum. And our favorite mission, the joint NASA/European Space Agency SOHO spacecraft, has monitored the Sun from its canada goose sale uk sunward L1 Lagrange vantage point since it launched in 1995 nearly through one complete 22 year Hale Cycle by mid 2020s. Not only has SOHO kept a near continuous eye on Sol, but it also discovered an amazing 3,398 sungrazing comets as of September 1st, 2017 mostly due to the efforts of diligent online amateur astronomers. Canada Goose Parka

Canada Goose Outlet A guide to features on the Sun. The left view in Calcium K shows the photosphere and is similar to a standard whitelight view, and the right view shows features in the chromosphere in hydrogen alpha. Canada Goose Outlet

canada goose coats on sale Unfortunately, this low ebb in the solar cycle will also make canada goose outlet toronto factory for lackluster aurora in the years to canada goose outlet sale come. It a shame, really the relatively powerful cycles of the 1970s and 80s hosted some magnificent aurorae seen from mid latitudes (and more than a few resulting blackouts). We still getting some minor outbursts, but you have to venture “North/South of the 60” to really see the aurorae in all of its splendor over the next few years. canada goose coats on sale

canada goose clearance sale But don take our word for it: get out there and observe the Sun for yourself. Don let this http://www.canadagoosecanadaoutlet.com discourage you when it comes to observing the Sun. Even near its minimum, the Sun is a fascinating target of study and unlike most astronomical objects, the face of the Sun can change very quickly, sometimes erupting with activity from one hour to the next. canada goose clearance sale

We like to use a Coronado Personal Solar Telescope to monitor canada goose outlet online the Sun in hydrogen alpha for prominences and filaments: such a scope can be kept at the ready to pop outside at lunch time daily for a quick look. For observing sunspots and the solar photosphere in white light, you need an approved glass filter which fits snugly over the aperture end of your telescope canada goose outlet factory or camera, or you can make a safe solar filter with Baader Safety Film.

Safe ways to observe the Sun: a homemade whitelight filter (left) and a Coronado PST solar canada goose jacket outlet telescope (right).

canada goose store Does the sunspot cycle tell the whole picture? Certainly, the Sun most likely has longer, as yet undiscovered cycles. For about a century now, astronomers have used the Wolf Sunspot Numberas calculated mean average to describe the current state of activity seen on the Sun. canada goose outlet germany An interesting studycalls this method into question, and notes that the direction and orientation of the heliospheric current sheet surrounding the Sun seems to provide a better overall depiction of solar activity. canada goose store

Canada Goose Jackets Other mysteries of the Sun include: just why does the solar cycle seem baked in at 11 canada goose outlet price years? Why don we ever see spots at the poles? And what in store for the future? We do know that solar output is increasing to the tune of 1% every 100 million years and a billion years from now, Earth will be a toasty place, probably too warm to sustain liquid water on its surface brings us to the final point: what role does the solar cycle play versus albedo, global dimming and climate? This is a complex game to play: Folks have literally gone broke trying to link the solar cycle with terrestrial human affairs and everything from wheat crops to stock market fluctuations. Many a climate change denier will at least concede that the current climate of the Earth is indeed changing, though they question human activity role in it. The rather ominous fact is, taking only current solar activity into account, we should be in a cooling trend right now, a signal in the data that anthropogenic climate change is working hard against. Canada Goose Jackets

canada goose See for yourself. You can keep track of Sol daily activity online: our favorite sites are SpaceWeather, NOAA weather/aurora activity page, and the SOHO and SDO websites. canada goose

Be sure to keep tabs of Sol, as the next solar minimum approaches and we ask the question: will Cycle 25 occur at all?

canadian goose jacket Well, we finally emerging from our self imposed monastic exile that is editing to mention we got a book coming out later this year: The Universe Today Ultimate Guide to Viewing the Cosmos: Everything You Need to Know to Become an Amateur Astronomer, and yes, there a whole chapter dedicated to solar observing and aurora. The book is up for now, and comes out on October 23rd, 2018! canadian goose jacket

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