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NASA to hold teleconference about “Conditions On And Surrounding The Sun”

A week or so ago, in “Ice Age Predictions are premature“, I discussed some speculation resulting from observations of the current solar cycle end.  However it’s undeniable that we’re learning a lot about the operation of the sun that we didn’t know.  Just two years ago, NASA’s solar physicists were predicting that the next solar cycle, Solar Cycle 24, would be a very active one, and the first sunspot of the new cycle, in January. 2008 (recognizable because of its location and reversed polarity) was greeted by the Solar Cycle 24 Prediction Panel as conforming to their predictions.  But sunspots since then, apart from a few stragglers from Cycle 23, have been extremely sparse, defying predictions.  Something unusual is definitely happening, although the current solar minimum is far, far from matching the decades-long minima of former centuries as yet.  Time will tell.

Meanwhile, NASA and ESA have announced a teleconference for Tuesday, 23 September, 2008, about recent solar measurements from the two agencies’ joint Ulysses mission.  The solar wind is apparently at a 50-year low.  “The sun’s current state”, they report, “could result in changing conditions in the solar system.”  The briefing will be held at 0630 GMT (1230 EDT), Tuesday.  The panelists are Ed Smith, Dave McComas, and Karine Issautier of the Ulysses project, and Nancy Crooker of Boston University.


One Response

  1. Why is it that some scientists, and people seem unable to admit that the Sun is one of the mayor factors which affects Earth’s climate?

    This is not in the realm of speculation. It is not coincidence that during periods of low Solar activity the Earth experienced periods such as the Little Ice Age.

    It is also a known fact that during the past warming, which environmentalists have been trying to attribute to anthropogenic CO2, the Sun’s activity had been very high. The number of Sunspots had been increasing until about 2 years ago. The strength of Solar magnetic storms had been increasing since 1868 and until recently it had been higher than at any time before the 1900s.


    The Earth’s own magnetic field has been weakening since 1845, and it is now 10%+ weaker than it has been in a long while.

    Not too long ago NASA and ESA released an statement that the current overall low activity of the Sun could very well bring dramatic changes in the Solar System, and last I checked Earth is in the Solar System.

    Tapping oversees the operation of a 60-year-old radio telescope that he calls a “stethoscope for the sun.” Recent magnetic field readings are as low as he’s ever seen, he says, and he’s worked with the instrument for more than 25 years. If the sun remains this quiet for another a year or two, it may indicate the star has entered a downturn that, if history is any precedent, could trigger a planetary cold spell that could bring massive snowfall and severe weather to the Northern Hemisphere.[/quote]

    Who knows what the Sun will do next, but if the current trend continues, then we will have to worry about “Global Cooling”.

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