“The Sun Is Asleep: Deep ‘Solar Minimum’ Feared As 2020 Sees Record-Setting 100-Day Slump,” reads the headline on Forbes.com.
12 May 2020 – “Our star—the Sun—is having a lockdown all of its own. Spaceweather.com reports that already there have been 100 days in 2020 when our Sun has displayed zero sunspots.”
“That makes 2020 the second consecutive year of a record-setting low number of sunspots.
“This is a sign that solar minimum is underway,” reads SpaceWeather.com. “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.”
Although it makes light of any potential changes in climate, the article does go on to answer a few questions. Amazingly, one of the questions, “What is ‘solar minimum’? doesn’t bother to mention the climate. But at least it does give a Wikipedia link to the “Maunder Minimum.”
But even the Wikipedia article equivocates. It says:
“The Maunder Minimum roughly coincided with the middle part of the Little Ice Age, during which Europe and North America experienced colder than average temperatures. Whether there is a causal relationship, however, is still under evaluation.”
Whether there is a causal relationship is still under evaluation?!?!
Oh well, at least it’s a start. At least the general populace may become aware of the record-setting sunspot minimum.
Here are the questions that the Forbes article attempts to answer.
What is a sunspot?
What is the solar cycle?
How does the solar cycle affect Earth?
What is ‘solar minimum’?
When is the next ‘solar maximum?’
How the solar cycle affects solar eclipses
How to see explosions on the Sun
Why is this good news for North American eclipse-chasers?
Thanks to Argiris Diamantis for this link