solar activity

9 Stories

A 'Mini Ice Age' Is Coming—and Soon

Study predicts 60% fall in solar activity around 2030

(Newser) - In the words of the Starks , winter is coming—and it's going to be bad. Using a new model to forecast the sun's activity, scientists predict solar activity will fall by 60% in the 2030s to conditions not seen since a "mini ice age" in 1645. For... More »

Sun's Activity During Birth Could Affect Your Death

Those born when sun is active may have shorter lifespans: study

(Newser) - If the sun was calm when you were born, you might look forward to a longer life than someone born in a period of high solar activity. The sun's cycles last about 11 years, typically including three years of "solar maximum"—when activity like solar flares, sunspots,... More »

Do We Need to Protect Grid From Sunstorms?

Officials clash over whether to upgrade system

(Newser) - The peak in the 11-year cycle of solar flares happens next year, but electricity regulators have made little progress in deciding how much protection the power grid needs, the Wall Street Journal finds. They are reviewing records as far back as the 1859 "superstorm," the strongest solar storm... More »

Solar Storm Boosting Northern Lights

Display could be visible as far south as Colorado

(Newser) - Bad news for telecommunications, good news for skywatchers: The sun is entering a busy period of its 11-year cycle, and solar flares are expect to affect the earth for the next several years, making the Northern Lights more spectacular and visible further south. A geomagnetic storm currently in progress is... More »

Sun May Soon Enter Long Quiet Phase

Sunspot activity looks to be petering out for a while

(Newser) - If we make it past 2012 , we might not be totally out of the woods when it comes to the sun. The next 11-year cycle of increased sunspot activity—expected around 2020—may be a few years late, be less powerful than anticipated, or might not happen at all, according... More »

Northern Lights at 100-Year Low

Cycle's low point 'going on and on and on'

(Newser) - The Northern lights are rarer now than they have been for at least a century, but some spectacular light shows are probably on the way, researchers say. The phenomenon, triggered by solar winds, usually follows an 11-year cycle, rising quickly to a maximum before tapering off to a minimum. But... More »

'Solar Katrina' Could Blindside Us

Senate needs to act to protect power grid

(Newser) - America is woefully underprepared for a looming natural disaster with the potential to be much worse than Hurricane Katrina, warns disaster expert Lawrence E. Joseph. Scientists believe a solar storm of a size not seen since 1921 is likely to hit the earth after solar activity picks up in 2012,... More »

NASA: Get Ready for Space Storm Havoc

Sun is 'waking from deep slumber'

(Newser) - There's stormy weather ahead for the sun and that spells trouble for 21st-century society, NASA scientists say. The sun will wake "from a deep slumber" and enter a period of increased activity sometime around 2013, hitting the Earth with magnetic energy that has the potential to disrupt everything from... More »

Dim Sun Is Cold Comfort to Scientists

(Newser) - The sun may be heading for one of its dimmest periods in history, but that doesn't mean the big star is joining the battle against global warming, according to scientists. The sun hit a 100-year low in sunspot activity last year, reports the Telegraph. More »

9 Stories