Wednesday, September 24, 2008

[solar minimum] lower than ever

Click on this pic to play the movie.

The solar wind, which originates in the Sun's corona, gusts and calms with the star's familiar 11-year cycle of activity ... but the entire Sun is blowing significantly less hard [now] - about 20-25% less hard - than it was during the last solar minimum 10-15 years ago.

The charged wind particles also carry with them the Sun's magnetic field, and this has a protective role in limiting the number of high-energy cosmic rays that can enter the Solar System. More of them will probably now make their way through.

This is not so bad where we are, as we have the earth's natural shields but it might be best not to take that space trip to Pluto you were envisaging.

How much do you know about the sun anyway?

1. How many earths could fit inside the sun, in round numbers?

2. What is the name given to the surface of the sun?

3. In Celsius and in round numbers, what is the temperature of the sun's core?

4. How many days does the sun's orbit take?

5. In which country is the hottest average temperature?


About one million, photosphere, about 15 million degrees, 27.4 days, Ethiopia [Dallol, 34.4 degrees]


Lord Nazh said...

we also know that when the sun doesn't 'spot' as much, temps tend to go down :)

jmb said...

A quiz good. Oh, not so good after all.

Deb Acle said...

So THAT'S how they cook octopuses ;-)

We know though, don't we, that this is all down to car emissions, not reusing our Tescos bags and our reluctance to find a cure for over-gastric cows, right?

CherryPie said...

I didn't know that much after all ;-)

IanPJ said...

Question 4.
I thought the earth orbited the sun, not the other way round?

Lord Nazh said...

but the sun still makes an orbit (ie. it's not stationary, just orbits around its own little circle)

James Higham said...

I meant rotation, boys.