Tuesday, July 21, 2009

High Noon

The famous time of day is usually synonymous with a quiet time of the day when people struggle to get out of the noonday sun and bear the heat in silence. When the sun itself is silent, it's a different story.
Is the Sun Missing Its Spots? - NYTimes.com: "Indeed, last year marked the blankest year of the Sun in the last half-century — 266 days with not a single sunspot visible from Earth. Then, in the first four months of 2009, the Sun became even more blank, the pace of sunspots slowing more.

“It’s been as dead as a doornail,” David Hathaway, a solar physicist at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., said a couple of months ago.

The Sun perked up in June and July, with a sizeable clump of 20 sunspots earlier this month.

Now it is blank again, consistent with expectations that this solar cycle will be smaller and calmer, and the maximum of activity, expected to arrive in May 2013 will not be all that maximum."
Hat Tip: Instapundit