Monday, September 20, 2010

Oh NOES!!!

We're all gonna diiiiiiiieeeee.....

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What if the sun's magnetic field weakened so much that it wasn't able to muster the strength to produce a single sunspot?

This scenario may sound a little odd, but according to researchers at the National Solar Observatory (NSO) in Tucson, Arizona, the sun is exhibiting a strange decline in magnetic strength, the driving factor behind sunspot production.

It's as if our nearest star is getting tired and wants to take a breather.


If the decreasing trend continues its downward slope, by 2016, the average sunspot magnetic field has the potential to be below this 1500 Gauss threshold, leading to the possibility that the sun will generate no sunspots.

The last time this happened in documented history was in the 17th and 18th century when the sun didn't produce any sunspots for decades. This extended period of calm, known as the Maunder Minimum, coincided with an extended period of cooling on Earth, a period called the Little Ice Age.

Are we witnessing another slow-down in solar magnetic activity? Could this be a part of a long-period cycle where the sun runs out of juice and forgets to produce sunspots every few hundred years?
Wait a second... this info doesn't match what I posted in June.... even though we know what we are facing in only 5 billion years or so anyway....

But wait! There's a MONSTER in the center of our galaxy!!1!! We're all gonna diiiiiiieeeeee....

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