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Honey, I Shrunk The Sun!

  1. Jun 15, 2011 #1

    Dotini

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    Gold Member

    No doubt the core, photosphere, and corona are all integral features of the sun. The solar wind and heliosheath come under similar consideration. Currently it appears certain solar features at several scales are undergoing dynamic changes which look something like weakening.

    Ulysses has reported a 50 year low in solar wind pressure, a drop of more than 20%.
    http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2008/23sep_solarwind/

    More recently, IBEX noted a 10%-15% reduction of ENA intensity in the heliosheath.
    http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/ibex/news/solar-boundary.html

    Now three new lines of research point toward the sunspot cycle shutting down for a while.
    http://www.astromart.com/news/news.asp?news_id=1196
    http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2011-181&cid=release_2011-181

    I'm not trying to make any kind of point or big deal about any of this, as it's all likely to be cyclical business as usual out there, although solar scientists, commodities traders and climate arguers might perk up at the news.

    "Prediction is very hard, especially about the future." --Yogi Berra

    Respectfully submitted,
    Steve
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 15, 2011 #2
    IMHO, another Little Ice Age, with its crop-failures and famine, would NOT be a good thing...

    Due to forum guidelines, I will not speculate further...
     
  4. Jun 15, 2011 #3

    Drakkith

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    Staff: Mentor

    Speculation is only bad when you run off the path of known science to complete "what if's" that can't possibly be known yet.

    Personally I wonder if the global warming effect we've made for ourselves would protect us against this a bit.
     
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