Solar Cycle 25
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Recently, the scientists from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced their predictions about the new solar cycle, called Solar Cycle 25, which they believe has begun. Solar cycles have implications for life and technology on Earth as well as astronauts in space.
What is a solar cycle?
- Since the Sun’s surface is a very active space, electrically charged gases on its surface generate areas of powerful magnetic forces, which are called magnetic fields.
- Since the gases on the Sun’s surface are constantly moving, these magnetic fields can get stretched, twisted and tangled creating motion on the surface, which is referred to as solar activity.
- Solar activity varied with the stages of the solar cycle, which lasts on average for a period of 11 years.
How do scientists track solar activity?
- Scientists track a solar cycle by using sunspots, which are the dark blotches on the Sun that are associated with solar activity. Sunspots are associated as the origins for giant explosions such as solar flares that can spew light, energy and solar material into space.