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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

August Sets 100-Year Record for No Sunspots

For the first time in 100 years, we’ve just completed an entire month without a single sunspot. And the lack of sunspots could signal a new Ice Age or some other extraordinary climactic conditions on Earth.

According to data from UCLA’s Mount Wilson Observatory, the last time this happened was in 1913. When the sun is active, there are easily 100 or more sunspots in a month. While there’s an 11-year cycle of diminished sunspots, the current lack has scientists puzzled.

So far this year, the average number of sunspots per month has been three. August had none.


Click here for the Daily TECH article.
Click here for my earlier post providing more detail.
Photo is sunrise on Hawaiian coast.

2 comments:

Dharmaruci said...

Hi. I quoted this article on my blog and got the following comment.

'Stephen Ames has left a new comment on your post "August Sets 100-Year Record for No Sunspots":

Sorry but I have to correct that article, just because a spot didn't receive a number does not mean there were no spots...Most people, including scientists, obviously, don't know on the 21st a short lived but well defined active regions spawned 2 clear sunspots which can be seen in this picture from my website:
http://www.seemysunspot.com/solar_pics2/0821_rapavy1.jpg

To see more of the most comprehensive collection of daily solar observations go to: http://www.seemysunspot.com/

Stephen "Darkstar" Ames
Solar Observer/Archivist'

Gregory LeFever said...

Thank you, Dharmaruci for mentioning me on your blog. And thank you for bringing to my attention Stephen Ames' comment.

Stephen has a point, but one that's being debated by the astronomers.

As it turns out, the editors of DailyTech.com have put a footnote on their article. It reads: "After this story was published, the NOAA reversed their previous decision on a tiny speck seen Aug 21, which gives their version of the August data a half-point. Other observation centers such as Mount Wilson Observatory are still reporting a spotless month. So depending on which center you believe, August was a record for either a full century, or only 50 years."