Here on Earth, humans are struggling with the coronavirus and a global lockdown, and meanwhile, the Sun seems to be having its very own lockdown as well, according to the latest reports coming from Forbes.
Recent reports revealed by Spaceweather.com say that there are 100 days in 2020 when the Sun displayed no sunspots at all.
This makes 2020 the second consecutive year of a record-setting low number of sunspots.
“This is a sign that solar minimum is underway,” according to the notes from SpaceWeather.com.
The same notes say, “So far this year, the Sun has been blank 76% of the time, a rate surpassed only once before in the Space Age. Last year, 2019, the Sun was blank 77% of the time. Two consecutive years of record-setting spotlessness adds up to a very deep solar minimum, indeed.”
Sunspots can become enormous
Sunspots are areas of intense magnetic activity present on the surface of the Sun just like a storm.
These appear in areas of darkness and they are showing solar activity, coronal mass ejections and solar flares that appear.
Even if the sunspots seem like some tiny specks, they can end up being enormous.
These have been counted continuously since 1848 and the fact that they have been counted daily allowed experts to describe a repeating pattern in the wax and wane of activity on the Sun’s surface – this is called the solar cycle.
If you’re wondering how the solar cycle affects our planet, well, there is some evidence that cit can definitely affect the weather and climate,and the most powerful effect is on the intensity and the frequency of the Aurora.
Forbes notes that “the more charged-up the solar wind headed towards Earth, the brighter and more frequent are the displays of Northern Lights and Southern Lights.”
According to the same prestigious online publication, the most infamous solar minimum took place between 1645 to 1715 when a “Maunder Minimum” saw a prolonged sunspot minimum – this was when sunspots were very rare for a really long period of time.
We recommend that you check out more exciting data in the original article.