Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

The Quietest Sun

kdawson posted about 6 years ago | from the storms-a-comin' dept.

Space 227

Orbity sends in a Boston Globe report on the unusual calm on the surface of the sun. The photos, many taken in more active solar times, are excellent — see the sequence from last year of a coronal mass ejection carrying away the tail of a comet. "The Sun is now in the quietest phase of its 11-year activity cycle, the solar minimum — in fact, it has been unusually quiet this year — with over 200 days so far with no observed sunspots. The solar wind has also dropped to its lowest levels in 50 years. Scientists are unsure of the significance of this unusual calm..." As if to be contrary, New Scientist mentions that the number of sunspots seem to be increasing.

cancel ×

227 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

I know what's up. (2, Funny)

stonedcat (80201) | about 6 years ago | (#25365699)

We're all screwed...

Re:I know what's up. (3, Funny)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | about 6 years ago | (#25365737)

We're doomed! We're dooooooooooooooomed!

Re:I know what's up. (4, Funny)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | about 6 years ago | (#25365929)

dooooooooooooooooooooooooooomed!
dooooooooooooooooooooooooooomed!

(it's a Futurama joke...)

Re:I know what's up. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25366201)

its a Dads' Army joke

Re:I know what's up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25366933)

Doooooommmeeeeddd....
Doooooommmeeeeddd....

Now go home now!

(It's an Invader Zim joke :P)

Re:I know what's up. (3, Funny)

religious freak (1005821) | about 6 years ago | (#25365747)

Who cares? We'll still have light bulbs. Plus we'll save on sunscreen!

Re:I know what's up. (5, Informative)

Kagura (843695) | about 6 years ago | (#25366755)

Holy cow. Misplaced comment here, but if you do not normally click the links in Slashdot articles, click them today. The first link [boston.com] has pictures of the sun that I never knew we had. They're amazing. Some of them are close up at 70km resolution. Just awesome.

Re:I know what's up. (1)

adder (3667) | about 6 years ago | (#25367007)

Shot #16 in that series [boston.com] is particularly amazing... Phoenix rising, perhaps?

Re:I know what's up. (4, Funny)

William Robinson (875390) | about 6 years ago | (#25365851)

We're all screwed...

No. Now he got laid. Didn't u read he is unusual calm after mass ejection!!!

Re:I know what's up. (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 6 years ago | (#25366737)

Finally!

the significance of this unusual calm (5, Funny)

iminplaya (723125) | about 6 years ago | (#25365729)

The sun is dying. Netcraft confirms it.

Re:the significance of this unusual calm (0, Redundant)

RuBLed (995686) | about 6 years ago | (#25365749)

Which Sun are we talking about?

Re:the significance of this unusual calm (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25365819)

I guess the global warming reached out into space and made its impact there as well (Hey, Sun.. Calm down, I'm heating up!). The environmentalists will surely have a field day with this.

Re:the significance of this unusual calm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25366251)

Somebody better reverse the polarity on the flux capacitor!

oblig (3, Insightful)

advocate_one (662832) | about 6 years ago | (#25365759)

it's quiet out there... too darn quiet... I don't like it...

Re:oblig (1)

RuBLed (995686) | about 6 years ago | (#25365787)

Boston Globe is now in its quietest phase...

Re:oblig (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25366191)

Don't let your son go down on me.

Re:oblig (1)

MerlTurkin (598333) | about 6 years ago | (#25367153)

"Sunshine go away way today......"

Yeah (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | about 6 years ago | (#25367673)

I've got a baaad feeling about this.

Finally have tools to monitor... (1)

lamapper (1343009) | about 6 years ago | (#25365785)

I just think it is cool that we finally have a few satellites gathering data on the sun.

If there is a mass ejection in our direction it will not matter anyway. Since the new satellites were launched with equipment to monitor the sun from outside our atmosphere, all the really large ejections have been away from us. Give it 10 - 20 years and we should no allot more then we do today.

Re:Finally have tools to monitor... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25366037)

... no allot ...

Seriously, wtf?

Re:Finally have tools to monitor... (5, Informative)

lamapper (1343009) | about 6 years ago | (#25366621)

I should have said know allot...oh well here is some additional information for those seriously interested:

I am by no means an expert, much less an advanced knowledgeable person when it comes to this stuff, I just find it interesting and hope some of you will as well.

I read an article over a year ago about how they could not get good measurements of solar flares because the instruments were not good enough and to get some measurements you needed at least two observation points some distance apart. (probably related to measuring gamma rays) It is my understanding that the earth finally has the right kinds of instruments up there to get very accurate measurements of the sun, solar flares and etc.... I searched around and have provided a few links. I believe you will really like the Youtube video, very cool. Enjoy!

The Solar/SMO [wikipedia.org] was planned for 2003 and was finally launched on February 7, 2008. It is designed to measure solar radiation with wavelenghts from 200 nanometers - 100 micrometers. This covers the near-ultraviolet, visible and infrared areas of the spectrum. Here is NASA on Solar / SMO [nasa.gov] .

Hinode [wikipedia.org] launched in September 2006 has a three year mission to explore the magnetic fields of the sun. Specifically the investigates the interaction between the Sun's magnetic field and its corona. A consortium including Japan, US, UK and Norway worked together to measure the effects of "magnetic fields thought to be the source of solar flares" Three instruments are used, they are the SOT (Solar Optical Telescope, the X-Ray Telescope (XRT), and the Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrometer (EIS). The first images were captured on October 28.

HESSI renamed RHESSI [nasa.gov] launched on February 5, 2002, captures solar flares, X-rays and gamma ray flashes. Prior to the launch of RHESSI, we only had the GOES spacecraft which only measured X-ray flux and to classify the size of solar flares. YouTube on HESSI / RHESSI; A solar flare [youtube.com] video - no sound. Here is a great video [youtube.com] that shows the various instruments in action, one right after the other. From 10/18/03 through 11/07/03; AR 10486 & AR 10488.

From the Wiki,

The most powerful flare of the last 500 years is believed to have occurred in September 1859: it was seen by British astronomer Richard Carrington and left a trace in Greenland ice in the form of nitrates and beryllium-10, which allow its strength to be measured today (New Scientist, 2005).

Prior to the above launches, the Ulysees was pretty much it for measuring from space, before Ulysses there was only observations from the ground.

Ulysses (17 year mission) [wikipedia.org] - was equipped with instruments to characterize fields, particles, and dust, and was powered by a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG). Launched in 10/6/90 through 7/1/08; through "through triangulation (or, more specifically, multilateration). Each spacecraft has a gamma-ray detector, with readouts noted in tiny fractions of a second. By comparing the arrival times of gamma showers with the separations of the spacecraft, a location can be determined, for follow-up with other telescopes. Because gamma rays travel at the speed of light, wide separations are needed." Additional discoveries: Additional discoveries: [15] 1) Ulysses discovered that the Sun's magnetic field interacts with the Solar system in a more complex fashion than previously believed. 2) Ulysses discovered that dust coming into the solar system from deep space was 30 times more abundant than previously expected. 3) In 2007-2008 Ulysses determined that the magnetic field emanating from the sun's poles is much weaker than previously observed.

Re:Finally have tools to monitor... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25366913)

I should have said know allot

No, you shouldn't have said that. "Allot" means to distribute or apportion. What you should have said in your first post was: "we should know much more then we do today.", though most people would say "we should know a lot more then we do today."

HTH. HAND.

Re:Finally have tools to monitor... (1)

Nimey (114278) | about 6 years ago | (#25367773)

"know allot" is terrible grammar. You were trying to say "know a lot".

have the 'wars' endead? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25365793)

haven't seen/heard one word on that since the pretend 'money' 'gyrated'. probably all the soldiers, & armless babies have gone 'rich again' too. smoke & mirrors abound. now some bs about the sun, during the hottest fall on record.

greed, fear & ego are unprecedented evile's primary weapons. those, along with deception & coercion, helps most of us remain (unwittingly?) dependent on its' life0cidal hired goons' agenda. most of yOUR dwindling resources are being squandered on the 'wars', & continuation of the billionerrors stock markup FraUD/pyramid schemes. nobody ever mentions the real long term costs of those debacles in both life & any notion of prosperity for us, or our children, not to mention the abuse of the consciences of those of us who still have one. see you on the other side of it. the lights are coming up all over now. conspiracy theorists are being vindicated. some might choose a tin umbrella to go with their hats. the fairytail is winding down now. let your conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

http://news.google.com/?ncl=1216734813&hl=en&topic=n
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080918/ap_on_re_us/tent_cities;_ylt=A0wNcyS6yNJIZBoBSxKs0NUE
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/29/world/29amnesty.html?hp
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/06/02/nasa.global.warming.ap/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/weather/06/05/severe.weather.ap/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/weather/06/02/honore.preparedness/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/science/09/28/what.matters.meltdown/index.html#cnnSTCText
http://www.cnn.com/2008/SHOWBIZ/books/10/07/atwood.debt/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/01/opinion/01dowd.html?em&ex=1212638400&en=744b7cebc86723e5&ei=5087%0A
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/06/05/senate.iraq/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/17/washington/17contractor.html?hp
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/03/world/middleeast/03kurdistan.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin
http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/080708/cheney_climate.html
http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20080805/pl_politico/12308;_ylt=A0wNcxTPdJhILAYAVQms0NUE
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/09/18/voting.problems/index.html
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080903/ts_nm/environment_arctic_dc;_ylt=A0wNcwhhcb5It3EBoy2s0NUE
(talk about cowardlly race fixing/bad theater/fiction?) http://money.cnn.com/2008/09/19/news/economy/sec_short_selling/index.htm?cnn=yes
http://us.lrd.yahoo.com/_ylt=ApTbxRfLnscxaGGuCocWlwq7YWsA/SIG=11qicue6l/**http%3A//biz.yahoo.com/ap/081006/meltdown_kashkari.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/04/opinion/04sat1.html?_r=1&oref=slogin
(the teaching of hate as a way of 'life' synonymous with failed dictatorships) http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081004/ap_on_re_us/newspapers_islam_dvd;_ylt=A0wNcwWdfudITHkACAus0NUE
(some yoga & yogurt makes killing/getting killed less stressful) http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081007/ap_on_re_us/warrior_mind;_ylt=A0wNcw9iXutIPkMBwzGs0NUE
(the old bait & switch...you're share of the resulting 'product' is a fairytail nightmare?)
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081011/ap_on_bi_ge/where_s_the_money;_ylt=A0wNcwJGwvFIZAQAE6ms0NUE

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=weather+manipulation&btnG=Search
http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying

'The current rate of extinction is around 10 to 100 times the usual background level, and has been elevated above the background level since the Pleistocene. The current extinction rate is more rapid than in any other extinction event in earth history, and 50% of species could be extinct by the end of this century. While the role of humans is unclear in the longer-term extinction pattern, it is clear that factors such as deforestation, habitat destruction, hunting, the introduction of non-native species, pollution and climate change have reduced biodiversity profoundly.' (wiki)

"I think the bottom line is, what kind of a world do you want to leave for your children," Andrew Smith, a professor in the Arizona State University School of Life Sciences, said in a telephone interview. "How impoverished we would be if we lost 25 percent of the world's mammals," said Smith, one of more than 100 co-authors of the report. "Within our lifetime hundreds of species could be lost as a result of our own actions, a frightening sign of what is happening to the ecosystems where they live," added Julia Marton-Lefevre, IUCN director general. "We must now set clear targets for the future to reverse this trend to ensure that our enduring legacy is not to wipe out many of our closest relatives."

âoeThe wealth of the universe is for me. Every thing is explicable and practical for me .... I am defeated all the time; yet to victory I am born.â --emerson
consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

Re:have the 'wars' endead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25365855)

this is even worse english and even more nonsensical than the spam mails i get from time to time.. :S who writes this kind of stuff?

Re:have the 'wars' endead? (2, Funny)

MrMr (219533) | about 6 years ago | (#25366115)

You did.
Apparently

Re:have the 'wars' endead? (1)

OolimPhon (1120895) | about 6 years ago | (#25367505)

It has to be a bot. This same garbage gets posted to almost every Slashdot article, relevant or not. The person (I'm being generous here) who thought up the original boilerplate needs some serious help.

Re:have the 'wars' endead? (1, Funny)

iamapizza (1312801) | about 6 years ago | (#25366015)

The second paragraph of your diatribe should start with a capital G. You fail.

Taking pictures of the sun? (2, Interesting)

tsa (15680) | about 6 years ago | (#25365833)

Speaking of the sun, I recently bought a DSLR camera, and I would like to take pictures of the sun with it. Does anyone of you know how to go about that without destroying the camera's sensor or my eyes? What kind of filter do I need? Some people suggested a piece of glass that people use for welding; is that good enough?

Re:Taking pictures of the sun? (1)

timmarhy (659436) | about 6 years ago | (#25365857)

no it won't protect your eyes. the only way i know of is the old pin hole through cardboard type method used during a solar eclipse, but i'm not sure even that is safe without the blockage of the eclipse.

Astronomy sun filters. (2, Informative)

cheekyboy (598084) | about 6 years ago | (#25366477)

Dont people google any more?

Google answers all of you questions just ask, its like the oracle , it sees all, knows all, its your friend. Google just needs a 3d avatar, and a voice of Hal.

Re:Astronomy sun filters. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25366517)

Please state the nature of your inquisitive emergency...

Re:Taking pictures of the sun? (1)

slashname3 (739398) | about 6 years ago | (#25367065)

The old pin hole through cardboard method is used to show an image on a surface. You don't look through the hole.
Actually, never mind. It will be easier to spot the dumbasses if they are all bumping into stuff because they blinded themselves by trying to look at the sun.

Re:Taking pictures of the sun? (5, Interesting)

resignator (670173) | about 6 years ago | (#25365909)

Baader makes a makes an AstroSolar Saftey Film that can be cut to any size.

http://www.baader-planetarium.com/sofifolie/sofi_start_e.htm [baader-planetarium.com]

I have also seen some people use modified telescope filters (Calcium K-line).

Re:Taking pictures of the sun? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25365913)

such a welding shield / using welding goggles is also recommended for watching solar eclipses, so I guess you could go with it (oh, an equivalent is a shard of glass smoked over a fire...). preferably aim indirectly, using an LCD screen and a mirror so you don't have to look in the direction of the sun directly; then it will only be a matter of exposure time. even if the welding screen is too strong (those things are incredibly dark, you cannot see through them without a very powerful light source; just don't use one with automatic shielding that only gets dark when there IS such a source, I don't know if it works with direct sunlight alone), a longer exposure time should still get a good picture.
(theoretically with a very short exposure you could also shoot a picture of the sun without any protection... do no try at home?)

Re:Taking pictures of the sun? (2)

bronney (638318) | about 6 years ago | (#25365921)

Sensor:

Your shutter speed will be maxed so the sensor's exposure to the bright focused sun will be minimal anyway, don't worry about it. Shoot it.

Eye:

Liveview. If not available, shoot 100, 1000, 10000, it's digital anyway. Shoot until you find the one you like. I presume you're using some kick ass 500mm, or even better, get a telescope and an adapter.

Happy shooting :D

Re:Taking pictures of the sun? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25367191)

Um, no, his shutter speed will be whatever he sets it to be. Where the hell do these people come from?

Re:Taking pictures of the sun? (3, Insightful)

Iskender (1040286) | about 6 years ago | (#25367339)

Your shutter speed will be maxed so the sensor's exposure to the bright focused sun will be minimal anyway, don't worry about it. Shoot it.

Apart from the other fault pointed out by another poster, you're missing the important fact that not only the imaging sensor is a sensitive component.

The autofocus sensors, the metering sensors, the mirror and *the shutter itself* are all sensitive components. The manual of my Olympus dSLR says not to do it, and I doubt it's in any way unique.

The only responsible advice is to get a filter built for this very purpose before shooting.

Re:Taking pictures of the sun? (4, Informative)

Suddenly_Dead (656421) | about 6 years ago | (#25365955)

The best way to do it is with a solar telescope, which will get you a nice, zoomed-in shot. Alternatively, you can buy solar filters for telescopes, but you must be absolutely positive that they are high quality and you must have one that covers the main telescope aperture; those that cover only the eyepiece are dangerous as fuck.

Re:Taking pictures of the sun? (2, Informative)

ultranova (717540) | about 6 years ago | (#25366079)

Alternatively, you could simply project the image from the telescope to a piece of paper/cardboard and photograph that. That way there's no chance of filter failure, because there is no filter.

Re:Taking pictures of the sun? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25365959)

Chicken talk!

A ninja would train himself to endure the pain, by looking directly into the sun for hours every day. Eventually he would develop a natural immunity also know as HPEC ( Horribly Painfull Eye Cancer ).

And that is pretty much it. >> ...

Re:Taking pictures of the sun? (1)

Fnordulicious (85996) | about 6 years ago | (#25366083)

You don't actually get cancer from staring at the sun. You just go blind. There's a slight difference between the two.

Ah but you do! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25366483)

If, even after you've gone blind, you continue to stare at the sun, then you WILL get cancer.

But what you do is you stand around drums of chemicals until they spill into your eyes and give you a tremendous sense of hearing.

Re:Taking pictures of the sun? (1)

toQDuj (806112) | about 6 years ago | (#25365975)

Well, buy (from e.g. B+W) an ND1000 filter or higher. that should do the trick, and unlike the welding goggles, cannot accidentally come off the lens...

The goggles! They do nothing! (2, Insightful)

rts008 (812749) | about 6 years ago | (#25366013)

You might check with your local 'Astronomy Club', or if a planetarium is nearby, maybe someone there could give you the benefit of their (individual/group) experience.

Even though I have benefited from some real gems at /. , I would still do some independent research for something like this.
     

Re:Taking pictures of the sun? (5, Informative)

Zocalo (252965) | about 6 years ago | (#25366211)

The welder's glass will do at a pinch although it's not really sufficient for prolonged viewing of the sun. You'll also need to figure out some means of fixing it to the camera and you might find that it causes some unusual colour shifts in the image as well. Alternatively, you can get hold of a neutral density filter specifically designed for solar-photography; typically these will equate to about 10-15 stops of light loss - Cokin's NDX is one of the "cheapest" options, but that's relative; these are niche products that can be quite hard to find and are priced accordingly.

As to composing and focusing without damaging the sensor or your eyes... Well, it's a good idea to be quick. :) Assuming you gave a "proper" DSLR with a through the lens viewfinder, then you can use the old trick of holding a piece of card a few inches from the eyepiece for basic composition, and on newer models you can also use the live preview screen function. Be aware though that when using the latter method your sensor will be exposed to the sun, so don't take too long or your sensor may get damaged. Focussing isn't too critical; set the camera to manual focus and focus on infinity before you start, and you should get a perfectly usable result, although for pin sharp shots of sunspots a little more precise focussing may be required. Typically, my approach is as follows:

  1. Set up the camera & lens (manual focus, filter attached, pointed in the right direction, etc.)
  2. Visually look for any sunspots by composing with the piece of card technique then focussing manually to make the image sharp; if there are any then I want to know where they are so I can make sure that they are sharp
  3. Compose the shot
  4. Reset the focus to infinity (it will be slightly off from step #2)
  5. Switch to live view
  6. If there are any sunspots, zoom the live view screen in where they are and focus until sharp
  7. Take the shot
  8. Profit! (hopefully)

Be aware that with longer focal lengths the sun will move fairly rapidly across the viewfinder, but unless you are using an insanely long telephoto lens or a telescope with an adapter then this shouldn't be a major problem if you leave room for the sun to move across the frame when you compose.

Good luck, and don't take any chances with your eyes!

Re:Taking pictures of the sun? (2, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | about 6 years ago | (#25366635)

Its perfectly safe, but only if you do it at night.

Re:Taking pictures of the sun? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 6 years ago | (#25366897)

go to astronomy forums and ask. or check out Orion telescopes website for the parts you need to do that.

Re:Taking pictures of the sun? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25367367)

There are special telescope lenses for looking directly at the sun; perhaps they make similar devices for cameras?

Just wait for a total solar eclipse in your area. (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 6 years ago | (#25367513)

There was one here in Europe a few years back, and all stores were offering cheapo, but safe "stare at the sun like you are an idiot" cardboard glasses with some kind of "save your ass from going blind" plastic film lenses.

It's really an impressive thing to see, and you can really imagine how private humans must have went literally ape-shit during an occurrence.

Oh, you might need to wait a bit for an occurrence in your area.

2012 Approaches (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25365841)

Perhaps the ancients, who had nothing else for entertainment other than to religiously observe the Sun, were on to something.

Ahh, the silence (4, Funny)

eebra82 (907996) | about 6 years ago | (#25365863)

This tropical paradise looks as calm as one trillion nuclear bombs. Honey, we're going on vacation.

Re:Ahh, the silence (1)

ultranova (717540) | about 6 years ago | (#25366091)

Less than one hundred, if they're Russian [wikipedia.org] nukes.

It probably wants some privacy (1, Redundant)

Centurix (249778) | about 6 years ago | (#25365931)

You know, so it can play WoW. Maybe it's fed up of voyeurs photographing *every* goddam coronal mass ejection, can't a ball of nuclear fusion have some time to itself?

It just sneaks up on you and ... (4, Funny)

itsybitsy (149808) | about 6 years ago | (#25365941)

... burns you to a crisp... now it's in a calm state... but it's waiting, taunting us with massive flares... during the so called calm period there was that really big flare on 20080929... yikes... crispy... Sol... stay cool...

Fewer sunspots (5, Funny)

Armakuni (1091299) | about 6 years ago | (#25366001)

The five trillion tons of Clearasil must be starting to kick in.

Re:Fewer sunspots (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25366017)

Why hasn't this been modded up to 5 as funny?
I snorted coffee out my nose.

Global Warming is BS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25366041)

The Sun is making our planet get warm, I don't believe the tiny like ants humans can hurt this nature and planet, the nature is huge compared with us. Global Warming is BS of our new culture.

2c.

crisis (5, Funny)

xristoph (1169159) | about 6 years ago | (#25366049)

so THAT is what caused the economic crisis...

People, pray to your favorite deity for more sun spots!

Re:crisis (1)

umghhh (965931) | about 6 years ago | (#25366535)

ooops I misclicked and you got overrated, I wanted give it funny - mea culpa now I have to write to get it removed

Re:crisis (1)

xristoph (1169159) | about 6 years ago | (#25366573)

k no prob

Cycle 24 spot seen (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25366053)

This story is a little late. Since then a cycle 24 spot group has been seen. Even so, solar activity is still rather low, cycle 24 is late. What does it mean? It means we're going to be in for some very cold weather in the near future.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/10/11/significant-cycle-24-sunspot-group-emerges/#more-3635

Re:Cycle 24 spot seen (4, Funny)

Muad'Dave (255648) | about 6 years ago | (#25367097)

cycle 24 is late. What does it mean?

The sun's pregnant, that's what it means.

If you want to know about solar activity... (4, Interesting)

Zixx (530813) | about 6 years ago | (#25366069)

Have a look at the SIDC [www.sidc.be] . We count sunspots and get payed for it!

The significance? (3, Funny)

SlashDev (627697) | about 6 years ago | (#25366073)

The sun is using ProActive

Not that significant? (5, Insightful)

ChowRiit (939581) | about 6 years ago | (#25366139)

As the sun has an 11 year cycle of activity, is it really that significant that this is the least active it's been in 50 years? That would mean that out of the last 5 solar minima this is the quietest, which it doesn't take a physicist to notice is a 1 in 5 chance - hardly breathtaking.

Re:Not that significant? (4, Insightful)

Scarblac (122480) | about 6 years ago | (#25366439)

It's even less surprising. If this minimum's activity is lower than the last one, it's automatically "the lowest in the last x!". And if were higher, vice versa.

Re:Not that significant? (2, Insightful)

Eudial (590661) | about 6 years ago | (#25366585)

Indeed, I can't refrain from commenting on the part of TFS that notes that "Scientists are unsure of the significance of this unusual calm..."

I mean, of course they're not sure. They shouldn't care about the significance of what the heavenly bodies are doing at all. That is the area of astrologers and other pseudo scientists.

Any self respecting scientist should answer the question "What does it mean when the sun is unusually quiet?" with "It means that the sun is unusually quiet."

Who's to blame? (4, Funny)

Xenna (37238) | about 6 years ago | (#25366169)

Come on! We must be able to link this to some kind of human activity!

Re:Who's to blame? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25366853)

c'mon, isn't it obvious? It is yet another result of global warming.

Man did it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25367387)

There are electromagnetic cords between the sun and the earth. Our use of electricity is causing a feedback loop that is disrupting the sun. Abandon all hope, technology, and self determination. Go live in a cave. The earth, and the sun, will thank you.

hmmmm. (4, Insightful)

apodyopsis (1048476) | about 6 years ago | (#25366171)

(1) those are *stunning* pictures

and

(2) did I not hear that this is linked to the lull in global warming recently, and as soon as the sun picks so does the heat? is this true....?

Re:hmmmm. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25366745)

The sun is calm since we were driving our big SUVs less during the gas crunch.

global warming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25366759)

you have got it backwards global warming is causing the sun to cool. Ask al gore, he knows.

Re:hmmmm. (1)

vvaduva (859950) | about 6 years ago | (#25366843)

I agree and I was going to make the same observation - no attempt to connect this with global warming? Based on this alone, I'll give you a winter prediction: It's gonna be cold, it's gonna be gray, and it's gonna last you for the rest of your life. :)

Re:hmmmm. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25367735)

It must be, I saw Jesus on a date with the Easter Bunny and he told me it was true so it must be!!

Very convenient (3, Interesting)

Jeppe Salvesen (101622) | about 6 years ago | (#25366275)

This will give us good readings on how the solar cycle affects this climate.

Re:Very convenient (1)

slashname3 (739398) | about 6 years ago | (#25367141)

So when the solar spot cycle is low does that mean there is more or less energy being radiated? It would seem that if there are sun spots that there might be less energy being radiated which would cause the planets to cool. When there are fewer sun spots there is more energy being radiated (more surface area at a constant temperature) so the planets would warm up more.
Do we have any instrumentation that shows the amount of energy the sun is giving off?

Re:Very convenient (1)

locofungus (179280) | about 6 years ago | (#25367533)

It does affect the amount of energy from the Sun but not by much. A bit less than 2W/m^2 between minimum and maximum.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_variation [wikipedia.org] .

For comparison, the difference between January and July is about 90W/m^2 (with January being higher than July) due to the differing distances of the Earth from the Sun during the year.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_constant [wikipedia.org]

You'll have to ask a climatologist whether a sustained 2W/m^2 change in the solar constant would have a significant effect on global temperature.

Tim.

It's those aliens (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25366391)

It's the aliens that are supposed to be visiting today! They're calming our sun as a token of good will. Clearly, they plan to cozy up, have fun stringing us gullible earthlings along, and then put their sun-calming machines into reverse and roast us alive whilst they laugh.

not enough sun shares, god help us all (1)

cheekyboy (598084) | about 6 years ago | (#25366465)

See, even the sun is dropping like the credit market.

Maybe the solar cycle directly controls the markets..... woooooooooooooooo

Prepare for 2012, when the sun will go dark for 3 days on equinox day.

Sure, Sol might be a pretty quiet Sun... (2, Funny)

ben0207 (845105) | about 6 years ago | (#25366473)

.. but the Sparc 1 in my basement is damn silent, I tell you.

Pic # 8 (2, Interesting)

freddy_dreddy (1321567) | about 6 years ago | (#25366743)

Could anyone tell me what the mechanism behind an accelerating wavefront is ? The caption creates the impression that this is physics for 12 year olds ...

Re:Pic # 8 (1)

teridon (139550) | about 6 years ago | (#25366875)

I'm not a physicist so I can't answer your question, sorry. Maybe the info below will help...

Original press release about the image:
http://soi.stanford.edu/press/agu05-98/ [stanford.edu]

Nature abstract from the 28 May 1998 issue (full text requires payment, or you can go to the library!):
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v393/n6683/abs/393317a0.html [nature.com]

What if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25366941)

Global warming is but a hoax to cover up for a sun going nova?

Well, we ought to get proof of the sunspot theory. (4, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | about 6 years ago | (#25367095)

If the lack of sunspots holds on, then, if we get declining global temperatures, then, we might actually be headed into an ice age. Knowing our luck, this would become evident AFTER we've blown ten trillion dollars to lower our CO2.

The cycle length can vary... (2, Insightful)

MerlTurkin (598333) | about 6 years ago | (#25367137)

The cycle's AVERAGE is 11 years. It could go longer or shorter. This is not a big deal. I believe one past cycle (IIRC) lasted 13 years. Give it a few months. It'll start kicking in.

Must Be Global Warming (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25367205)

Be sure that Al Gore and his lying cronies will blame this on global warming. http://www.discussglobalwarming.com/blog

Re:Must Be Global Warming (2, Funny)

strikeleader (937501) | about 6 years ago | (#25367531)

No they will try to blame it on the Bush administration, because as we all know everything that has gone wrong in the universe over the last eight years is W's fault.

Re:Must Be Global Warming (1)

karlwilson (1124799) | about 6 years ago | (#25367725)

+1 insightful

Yep (1)

dieG (879437) | about 6 years ago | (#25367335)

Sun will fuck us

This is a LOW point? (1)

desertfool (21262) | about 6 years ago | (#25367429)

Wow, I have had 4 Cisco switches reload this year due to "Parity Errors", which they attribute to 'Cosmic Radiation*'. I thought that we were in a high point of solar activity.

* Not sure if solar activity is source of said cosmic radiation.

Cosmic! (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | about 6 years ago | (#25367699)

Yeah, the old "cosmic rays ploy." Back when we used Motorola machines, I had one system that would crash on a parity error. One. Out of five machines, and the only one with that specific type of memory. Also, there were between 12 and 20 other machines in that room that never crashed. The third time the tech came out on a service call he told me the problem was cosmic rays. We dumped the Motorola machines before Y2k, and have not had a cosmic ray problem since.

I've got a bad feeling about this... (1)

greymeister (540786) | about 6 years ago | (#25367435)

(enter Space Worm)

How will Al Gore blame this one on Man? (0, Flamebait)

bugeaterr (836984) | about 6 years ago | (#25367443)

Perhaps our solar panels are absorbing TOO MUCH SUNSHINE!!!!

There is mounting evidence... (1, Insightful)

DragonTHC (208439) | about 6 years ago | (#25367481)

There is mounting evidence that sunspot activity has an effect on the Earth's temperature. I believe this will be one of the coldest winters in the past 10 years.

This evidence also suggests that Earth is trending towards cooling overall. Not warming like all the 'experts' claim.

Wait and see, this will be one of the coldest winters we've seen in a long time.

The Sun (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | about 6 years ago | (#25367595)

is a mass of incandescent gas, A gigantic nuclear furnace......

Ever heard of... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25367743)

The calm before a storm?

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?