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Is our Sun in a minimum maximum?

12 Mar 2013, 14:48 UTC
Is our Sun in a minimum maximum?
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A fellow blogger posted a interesting article about NASA’s warning of a solar maximum twin peak. I was a bit skeptical of the news, so I read a article by Dr Tony Phillips who is the production editor of Science@NASA. He wrote this article dated March 1,2013.
March 1, 2013: Something unexpected is happening on the sun. 2013 is supposed to be the year of Solar Max, the peak of the 11-year sunspot cycle. Yet 2013 has arrived and solar activity is relatively low. Sunspot numbers are well below their values in 2011, and strong solar flares have been infrequent for many months.
The quiet has led some observers to wonder if forecasters missed the mark. Solar physicist Dean Pesnell of the Goddard Space Flight Center has a different explanation:
“This is solar maximum,” he suggests. “But it looks different from what we expected because it is double peaked.”
Conventional wisdom holds that solar activity swings back and forth like a simple pendulum. At one end of the cycle, there is a quiet time with few sunspots and flares. At the other end, Solar Max brings high sunspot numbers and solar storms. It’s a regular rhythm that repeats every 11 ...

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