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The sun has gone out

       http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/SolarCycle/

:-).
Maybe not quite.

Not only is the new sunspot cycle "rather tardy" in kicking in, but two very
interesting and apparently contradictory records have been set.

AFAIK, were it not for the wee blip on the graph above there would have been
a 100 year record period without sunspot activity late last year.

But just 4 years ago a 1000 year general sunspot high was being claimed

   http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3869753.stm

Note that this is a high rate of activity over a number of SS cycles - not
just a high maximum in any one cycle.

Now, I know very little about the whole sunspot process (although, perhaps
just a little more than was suggested by a friend here a while ago :-) ) but
to go from a claim 4 years ago that during the last 60 years we were seeing
a 1000 year high in sunspot activity, to a bottom of cycle 50 year (and
almost 100 year) record period without any sunspot activity at all, seems
strange, at least.

The folks at NOAA are gamely sticking to their May 2008 forecast (which
AFAIR was identical to their May 2007 forecast) but the continued lack of
activity will be beginning to cause "concern".

I'm sure the
anti-Global-Warming-Maunder-minimum-cosmic-rays-cloud-formation-global-cooling-doom-doom
people are having a real party (I haven't bothered checking of late) but,
whether they are correct or not, summat appears aglae with our star.
.

<F300400AFEF64ED2A3B45AD45DF4FAE7@gaddiel> 7bit

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