what is a solar minimum and solar maximum?

Every 11 years the sun goes through a cycle. It is noticeable by the increase and decrease of sunspots which are dark patches on the Sun’s surface. The sunspots are counted by the solar maximum and solar minimum in a solar cycle.

Parts of the Sun

Parts of the Sun

A solar maximum is the greatest number of sunspots in any solar cycle and as you might have guessed the solar minimum is the lowest number of sunspots. Bright active regions also appear in the Sun’s atmosphere. These active regions can produce solar flares or coronal mass injections and are therefore tracked.

The most recent solar minimum occurred in 2008 and a flare was produced in 2010 that was 10 times less powerful than the largest flares. The largest layers are called X-class and the one that was produced in 2010 was called an M-class flare. The Sun is continuing to get more active and the next solar maximum is predicted to be in 2013. The most recent solar minimum was in 2008

Images of the Sun show a journey towards solar maximum by the difference between pictures from now and in 2010.

2010 On the Left Compared to Today

2010 On the Left Compared to Today

The above picture shows a calm Sun in 2010 and on the right side in 2012 the picture shows a much more active and varying solar atmosphere as the sun gets closer to solar maximum.

The Sun Compared on the Left Side in 2012 to the Right Side in 2010

The Sun Compared on the Left Side in 2012 to the Right Side in 2010

 

Join the forum discussion on this post - (1) Posts
Bookmark and Share
4 Comments Post a Comment
  1. [...] of the Sun, Weirdwarp gives us some insight into what solar minimums and solar maximums actually are, and how this solar activity is different now than what it was two years [...]

  2. Auth says:

    Switch to a 100% renewable enrgey supplier all the benefit of solar panels without the expense all the obvious ones use enrgey bulbs, only boil the amount of water you need, turn of lights when not in use, never leave electronics on standby, turn heating thermostats down a couple of degrees, wash at 30 instead of 40, fit a water saving device to you toilet (commonly know as a brick!!) to reduce water used for flushing, recycle and compost, use biodegradable rubbish sacks when you do throw anything out, reuse carrier bags or switch to fabric ones.Also switch some of your household products for natural or green alternatives.If at all possible use your car less walk, cycle car share etc. Where not possible offset your carbon emissions by using a green car insurance company these companies calculate your carbon emissions based on your annual mileage car size etc and then offset this with woodland projects.

  3. Bernadine says:

    It’s going to be ending of mine day, but before end I am reading this great paragraph
    to improve my know-how.

    Feel free to visit my website – newsboys live with abandon (Bernadine)

  4. marklade says:

    This is amazing – a collection of best pictures ever of Earth more 20 best pictures ever of Earth
    Pictures: http://earthspacecircle.blogspot.com/p/best-pictures.html

    This is amazing – a collection of best pictures ever of Earth more 20 best pictures ever of Earth
    Pictures: http://earthspacecircle.blogspot.com/p/best-pictures.html

Leave a Reply




Archives

Categories