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Sunspots Return

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the try-this-proven-acne-cure dept.

Space 276

We're emerging from the longest, deepest sunspot drought since 1913 (we discussed its depths here) with the appearance of a robust group of sunspots over the weekend. Recently we discussed a possible explanation for the prolonged minimum. The Fox News article quotes observer Michael Buxton of Ocean Beach, Calif.: "This is the best sunspot I've seen in two years." jamie found a NASA site where you can generate a movie of the recent sunspot's movement — try selecting the first image type and bumping the resolution to 1024. The magnetic field lines are clearly visible.

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wow. (5, Funny)

NotWithABang (1570431) | more than 5 years ago | (#28612623)

"This is the best sunspot I've seen in two years."

... MAN does this guy need to get laid.

Re:wow. (4, Funny)

Hogwash McFly (678207) | more than 5 years ago | (#28612663)

Don't we all, man, don't we all...

Re:wow. (0, Offtopic)

m.ducharme (1082683) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613215)

No, not all of us.

Re:wow. (0, Offtopic)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613253)

Speak for yourself. I may not have learned life's most important lessons, but one thing I did learn is the multiple hours of foreplay and cuddling surrounding the sex isn't worth the two second blast of hormones.

Re:wow. (3, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613409)

Maybe I'm just odd compared to most guys but I rather enjoy the foreplay and cuddling. The blast of hormones is just, err, "icing on the cake". ;)

Re:wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28613563)

Same here; being single, I can masturbate whenever I want -- but what I wouldn't give for a good cuddle...

posting anonymously for reasons which I suspect to be somewhat less than obtuse.

And no, I don't live in my mom's basement... and I actually saw the sun earlier today. I can't say I noticed any spots, though.

Re:wow. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28613621)

gay

Re:wow. (1)

superdana (1211758) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613763)

Ok then, let's go.

Re:wow. (1)

gubers33 (1302099) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613117)

Look at the brightside he has new masturbation material to last him the next two years.

Re:wow. (2, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613249)

"This is the best sunspot I've seen in two years."

... MAN does this guy need to get laid.

For all you know he could be one of those bad-ass astronomers they make movies about and he could have been sitting at the 'scope looking at the spot while getting a blow job from a hot chick like in Swordfish.

Re:wow. (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613487)

For all you know he could be one of those bad-ass astronomers they make movies about and he could have been sitting at the 'scope looking at the spot while getting a blow job from a hot chick like in Swordfish.

Always found that amusing. In reality somebody with the skills to crack that firewall (or encryption key - whatever. haven't seen that movie in ages) would probably be the geekiest looking guy in existence. That doesn't fit with societal views of the archetypal badass though.

It's kinda like in horror movies. Any movie involving an exorcism or something that requires the presence of a priest who's gonna get the job done must always portray their priest as the oddball priest who swears, smokes, drinks, barely believes in God, etc. Religion in the real world aside, I think that in a fictional movie where it's put forth as a given within the story that God exists, that the best "demon fighter" would be the most righteous goody-two-shoes you can find. Instead we get Samuel L Jackson in a robe exorcising demons.

Re:wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28613713)

Do not try it at home. Looking at sunspots through a 'scope is gonna hurt your eyes. The BJ too, if you consider it like masturbation by a second party.

Oh sure... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28612637)

like ANYTHING Fox News allegedly reports about the so-called "sun" would be worth listening to.

Re:Oh sure... (4, Insightful)

mkiwi (585287) | more than 5 years ago | (#28612689)

I know it's popular here to say everything that comes from Fox News is complete bullshit, but maybe just once and a while they have a good article. We should be thankful for that.

Re:Oh sure... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28612773)

A broken clock is right twice a day, after all...

Re:Oh sure... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28612803)

With the notable exception of 24h clocks.

Re:Oh sure... (1)

halivar (535827) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613209)

Which is why American kooks are twice as smart as European kooks... because they're right twice as often.

Re:Oh sure... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28613521)

Oh, and LCD clocks...

Re:Oh sure... (0, Offtopic)

nsayer (86181) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613353)

Depends on how broken it is. If it's just slow or fast, it will be right much, much less than twice a day. Only analog 12 hour clocks that are actually stopped are right twice a day, and that assumes the hands are still intact and point unambiguously. Digital clocks that are blinking 12:00 could be interpreted also as being correct twice a day (providing they lack an AM/PM indicator - if not, then they're right once a day). Some digital clocks blink until set, but continue to count time, which would make them perpetually incorrect unless they just happened to be started at 12:00.

Re:Oh sure... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28613485)

/facepalm

Re:Oh sure... (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613593)

Depends on how broken it is.

Nuke it from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

Re:Oh sure... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28613783)

The 12 hour or 1/2 Day clock is an intended EVIL against humanity - indicting every human on Earth as Dumb, Educated Stupid and Evil - for imaginary Cubed Earth has 4 Days within simultaneous rotation.

http://timecube.com/

Re:Oh sure... (3, Funny)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#28612901)

Sun? Didn't they go out of business or something?

Re:Oh sure... (2, Funny)

AaxelB (1034884) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613493)

No, I'm pretty sure they're still around. They're the ones with the topless chick on the third page, right?

Re:Oh sure... (3, Insightful)

east coast (590680) | more than 5 years ago | (#28612919)

like ANYTHING Fox News allegedly reports about the so-called "sun" would be worth listening to.

If you have to censor some from speaking out about science for fear of the scrutiny maybe your science isn't really science at all. Anyone who questions the validity of a theory should be heard. I know that there will be those who will try to mock you but the science is the truth in and of itself, not a side effect of your belief in the science.

Re:Oh sure... (5, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#28612967)

Anyone who questions the validity of a theory should be heard.

Anyone who offers valid criticisms of your theory with data to back them up should be heard. Saying anyone who questions a theory should be heard might sound nice in theory, but in reality it means you have a bunch of people throwing out unsubstantiated garbage in order to muddy the waters and further their own agendas, which are rarely motivated by scientific concerns.

Re:Oh sure... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28613047)

You BETTER not be knocking the Time Cube, biach.

Re:Oh sure... (1)

nsayer (86181) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613425)

Anyone who offers valid criticisms of your theory with data to back them up should be heard.

Tell that to Pons and Fleischmann.

They might get a Nobel yet.

Re:Oh sure... (3, Interesting)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613777)

Anyone who offers valid criticisms of your theory with data to back them up should be heard.

Tell that to Pons and Fleischmann.

They might get a Nobel yet.

Probably not.

If cold fusion turns out to be, as it looks, a combination of erroneous measurements and wishful thinking, then they will be ignored and eventually forgotten.

On the other hand, if cold fusion turns out to have been a real effect after all, then somebody should hunt them down and shoot them, because by their actions, they made it look like bad measurements, chicanery, and hype, and thus made sure nobody would take it seriously. If there really was something there, their actions set science back significantly.

Re:Oh sure... (2, Insightful)

Etcetera (14711) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613305)

If you have to censor some from speaking out about science for fear of the scrutiny maybe your science isn't really science at all. Anyone who questions the validity of a theory should be heard. I know that there will be those who will try to mock you but the science is the truth in and of itself, not a side effect of your belief in the science.

This basically sums up the postmodern approach to science. When all truth is relative, then science itself has no basis for an exalted place in the hierarchy of rationality. With nothing to "prove" itself except itself, science becomes a rolling definition of "what works for me, today." From there, it's a small step to seeing science as a means, not an end... and specifically: a means of enacting social change.

Presto. :/

Re:Oh sure... (2, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#28612935)

Oh sure...

Like ANY opinion Anonymous Cowards have about the so-called "Fox News" would be worth listening to.

;)

Re:Oh sure... (2, Funny)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613239)

Anonymous Coward: ready to doubt that shiny yellow thing is really the "sun", for no reason other than Fox News said it was.

Yeah, everything Fox says is automatically false.

"The magnetic field lines are clearly visible. " (0)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#28612659)

Very strange, as magnetic field lines are entirely imaginary.

Re:"The magnetic field lines are clearly visible. (4, Insightful)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 5 years ago | (#28612741)

Very strange, as magnetic field lines are entirely imaginary.

I guess you've never played with magnets and iron filings?

Re:"The magnetic field lines are clearly visible. (4, Interesting)

gr8_phk (621180) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613021)

Yeah, because the field is not uniform the iron filings clump around the actual physical lines. It's the same thing with gravity - the field is not uniform, but concentrated along specific lines protruding out of the earth. Sometimes you get tripped up when you walk through one of the bigger gravitational field lines. Here in Michigan you can clearly feel them when driving your car through them - it feels like the road is all bumpy.

*end sarcasm*

The comment that they are imaginary does suggest that the plasma (or something) on the sun somehow concentrates the field much the way iron filings concentrate them. Once you have filings it concentrates the field and you get more filings attached to the end thus creating lines. Similar must occur on the sun or the lines would not be visible.

Re:"The magnetic field lines are clearly visible. (1)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613161)

Isn't plasma a decent conductor? The electrons moving pretty much as they please?

Re:"The magnetic field lines are clearly visible. (1)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613141)

Indeed, what is the reason behind the field lines, by current theory?

Re:"The magnetic field lines are clearly visible. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28612845)

Not visible != imaginary. Magnetic lines very much exist, as any kid who has played with a magnet and iron filings can tell you.

Amusingly, my captcha is arrogant

Re:"The magnetic field lines are clearly visible. (4, Informative)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 5 years ago | (#28612925)

No, the magnetic field is real but invisible. Magnetic field lines, on the other hand, are simply a mechanism for representing (e.g., on paper) magnetic field orientation and strength. The lines themselves are not real. (Compare with, for example, a topographical map. The height of the earth's surface is real, but the lines on a topographical map are a representation of height; they're not real.)

Re:"The magnetic field lines are clearly visible. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28613045)

God damn you must be dense. Sure the lines you see are a representation, they represent something that exists and is real but cannot be seen without help.

http://scripts.mit.edu/~tsg/www/demo.php?letnum=G%202&show=0

Re:"The magnetic field lines are clearly visible. (3, Insightful)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613213)

My density is fairly close to that of water, just like everyone else. I do have a degree in physics, though, if that helps.

Re:"The magnetic field lines are clearly visible. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28613283)

Your argument from authority is useless because I'm the second coming of Jesus and I declare you a faggot.

Re:"The magnetic field lines are clearly visible. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28613219)

Who's dense? You just backed up his point.

Re:"The magnetic field lines are clearly visible. (4, Informative)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613405)

Magnetic field lines are not really like the lines on a topographic map. The lines of a magnetic field represent paths from high potential to low potential, rather than delineations of equal-potential regions.

It's more like a river. The river flows perpendicular to the lines on the topographic map, from high to low, and its "line" is quite real, while the lines on the topographic map are not. Thus it is an unfair comparison to say magnetic field lines are "imaginary" in the same sense that contour lines on a map are. You cannot physically demonstrate the contour lines on a map, whereas you can demonstrate (with water or iron filings, as the case may be) a path from high potential to low potential.

IOW, inasmuch as there is a very real path that a drop of water will take when placed at any specific point on a 3-D surface, there is also a very real path that an electron will follow from a specific starting point in a 3-D electromagnetic field.

The lines themselves are imaginary, but they are real paths. Of course, there are infinitely many of the paths, densely packed, and so we pick only a few representative paths and call them the "magnetic field lines".

Re:"The magnetic field lines are clearly visible. (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613653)

Not true at all. My local lake physically demonstrates a gravitational equipotential line, which are, at that scale, the same as contour height lines.

Magnetic field "lines" are fairly similar to fluid flow lines, except with fluid flow lines, you're generally representing the fluid flow using exemplar paths -- so, the lines illustrated are actually fluid particle paths. (You don't generally talk about fluid flow in the context of a potential but no fluid.) Magnetic field lines, on the other hand, are representing the magnetic field -- not the interaction between the magnetic field and charged particles. The magnetic field (and its "lines") are the same even if there are no interacting charged particles.

Re:"The magnetic field lines are clearly visible. (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613759)

Unless you're going to flood the entire planet, you'll have a hard time illustrating the lines on Mount Everest. I'll admit that contour lines are sometimes demonstrable, but not as easily as the paths perpendicular to them.

Besides which, if the contour line that delineates the lake's boundary is a "real" line because there's water on one side of it, that basically argues for the fact that the field lines are just as "real" since they are similarly demonstrable using charged/magnetic particles. Difference being, I can't think of much of any way to physically demonstrate the equipotential regions of a magnetic field the way a lake would show the equipotential regions of potential energy.

You don't generally talk about fluid flow in the context of a potential but no fluid.

Continental divide.

Anyway, yeah, I'm just pointing out that the magnetic field lines are more analogous to fluid flow, not the contour lines, on a 3-D surface.

Re:"The magnetic field lines are clearly visible. (1)

NotNormallyNormal (1311339) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613489)

Magnetic field LINES are a mathematical construct. The magnetic field is real. Iron filings are just a way to visualize it. If there were "lines" then what would be in the space between them - couldn't be magnetic field lines... The magnetic field is continuous, therefore no lines.

Re:"The magnetic field lines are clearly visible. (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613823)

Just as a continuous line contains infinitely many points, a continuous field in 3-D space can contain infinitely many lines. Just sayin'.

Re:"The magnetic field lines are clearly visible. (4, Insightful)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 5 years ago | (#28612933)

Very strange, as magnetic field lines are entirely imaginary.

No, they're quite real. Being immaterial aspects of electro-magnetism,
they are, however, normally invisible. Here, however, you can see the
superhot plasma flowing along them, much as you can get iron filings
on a piece of paper to do with an ordinary magnet.

Re:"The magnetic field lines are clearly visible. (1)

t0rc (788914) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613183)

Isn't it entirely possible that the lines themselves, made of either plasma or iron filings, are actually caused/created by the amount of intensity of magnitized matierial present in the field? (the magntized material interaciting with the other material itself)

Re:"The magnetic field lines are clearly visible. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28613327)

"The iron filings in the photo appear to be aligning themselves with discrete field lines, but in actuality, they are creating the field lines by concentrating the magnetic field along a random topographic path, and not along any line that actually exists in the field. In other words, the lines formed by the iron filings would not exist without the iron filings, and so the magnetic field lines you see are a not a demonstration of a lines in the magnetic field. Magnetic fields are continuous, and do not have discrete lines."

Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]

Re:"The magnetic field lines are clearly visible. (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613649)

By that logic, a riverbed only makes a line when it has water flowing in it.

Re:"The magnetic field lines are clearly visible. (4, Insightful)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613477)

They're no more real than latitude lines. The magnetic field is continuous, it doesn't possess discrete lines. Objects IN the field can form a line, but that is more of a spontaneous symmetry breaking effect... I.E., iron filings could form a hundred distinguishable lines, or a thousand. The filings experiment is neat, but I think it gave millions of schoolkids the idea that there is an actual number of preferred lines running from one end of the magnet to the other.

A cone doesn't have a finite number of preferred paths down from the top. But if you pour water on the top, the water will run downhill and form a number of discrete streams. That does mean that there are 'lines of gravity'.

Re:"The magnetic field lines are clearly visible. (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613555)

Argh. "That DOESN'T mean that there are 'lines of gravity'."

Re:"The magnetic field lines are clearly visible. (2, Informative)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613851)

That they are discrete, perhaps, is a misconception. You won't hear me claiming they're discrete.

A continuous field contains infinitely many paths from high to low potential, all of which are "lines". A representative few are used to approximate the field when we're drawing it, which leads to the misunderstanding about them being discrete.

Re:"The magnetic field lines are clearly visible. (1)

NotNormallyNormal (1311339) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613579)

Magnetic field LINES are a mathematical construct. The magnetic field is real. Iron filings and plasma etc simply flow in the field. If there were lines, what would be between the lines? There could not be more lines. Therefore it is a continuous field. Iron filings simply represent that field.

Plasma on the other hand is an entirely different case because it is made up of charged particles. Plasma is therefore affected by the electric field as well as magnetic field. In fact, plasma flows with the rules of magnetohydrodynamics. [wikipedia.org]

Re:"The magnetic field lines are clearly visible. (1)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613701)

Um, if it helps you to understand it that way, sure, magnetic field lines are indeed imaginary.

Now, you just need to remember that electric field lines are real, since they make a 90 degree angle [wikipedia.org] with magnetic field lines.

Re:"The magnetic field lines are clearly visible. (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613737)

Um, no.

CQ DX (4, Insightful)

Nethead (1563) | more than 5 years ago | (#28612691)

CQ DX here we come! Time to hang wire and pound brass!

73, w7com

Re:CQ DX (2, Funny)

endianx (1006895) | more than 5 years ago | (#28612837)

My HOA doesn't allow hanging wire, you insensitive clod!

73, KJ4BRU

Re:CQ DX (1)

W2IRT (679526) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613123)

Four elements on 15m, seven elements on 10m and two elements on 12m up at 85 feet -- plus 1500 Watts. It's about time I put a few more new ones in the log somewhere above 20!
I can hardly wait till CQWW this fall if conditions are this good or better. (Of course, I'm still hoping for a good season on 80 and 160 this winter, too!)

Re:CQ DX (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28613125)

Um, is this code for masturbation?

Just askin'

Re:CQ DX (1)

nsayer (86181) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613517)

Nope. With a few exceptions, US Amateurs are not allowed to send one-way transmissions. Most everything we do, we have to do at least in pairs. Sometimes in groups. Why, sometimes we even have contests to see who can do the most in a day. That can get tiring, I can tell ya!

Re:CQ DX (3, Interesting)

AB3A (192265) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613203)

DX from the other side of the earth on 10 meters at 1 AM? I remember those days. Now if only we could find a way to get the LIDS to learn how to troll the Internet, why we might actually have a civilized conversation on the air!

Re:CQ DX (1)

fatboy (6851) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613559)

I am sure glad to see ole' Sol is waking up again. I was surprised to make as many contacts as I did on field day, with just a simply wire loop thrown up in the trees.

--KE4PJW

We're all gonna die! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28612777)

http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread478278/pg1

Another New Crop Circle Predicts July 7th 2009 - Earth getting a Major Solar Storm

Alright.... (1)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 5 years ago | (#28612797)

Who embarrassed the sun this time? Don't you people know how awkward the sun feels when you make fun of it?

skin marks (0, Offtopic)

pig-power (1069288) | more than 5 years ago | (#28612831)

I bet you were pretty happy to hear this.
The marks on your skin that looked like sunspots...
turned out to be rings around Uranus!
zing

What I'd like to know is... (2, Insightful)

geogob (569250) | more than 5 years ago | (#28612849)

who tagged this NSFW. Seriously.

It's nice to see the new solar cycle is flaring up. I miss those nice auroras we could this during the last solar peak. Haven't seen one in about 3 years now. Some were so bright that you could see them in the city, very early in the evening.(at 56ÂN Magnetic Latitude).

Re:What I'd like to know is... (4, Funny)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 5 years ago | (#28612915)

Ever wonder why your parents told you not to look directly at the sun?

IT'S NAKED

Re:What I'd like to know is... (1, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613015)

Ever wonder why your parents told you not to look directly at the sun?

IT'S NAKED

Totally true. Being a rebellious kid, I did look directly at the sun, and it was not only naked, it was HOT! So hot that I started playing with myself while looking directly at it. I must have done that for hours, and you know what? They were right about masturbation making you go blind too!

Is it just me ? (2, Interesting)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 5 years ago | (#28612861)

Is it just me and where I live or have last summer and winter been pretty warm while this current summer seems cooler with the return of the sun's spot ? ;-)))

Re:Is it just me ? (2, Funny)

BigJClark (1226554) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613419)


It is you. Where I live, Northern Alberta, Canada, this past winter had been bitterly cold, with a fair amount of snow on the ground until mid may, and this summer has been very cold and dreary.

You can trust that I was cursing David Suzuki and all other global warming opportunists while I was walking to work in -45 degrees.

Re:Is it just me ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28613577)

Just you. Here in central Texas we've been having record high temperatures regularly for over a month now (mostly 103-105).

Re:Is it just me ? (2, Interesting)

JobyOne (1578377) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613901)

It's you and where you live. Where I live (Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA) we had an unusually warm and dry winter, and are currently in the middle of a slightly hot and unusually humid summer.

I don't like it one bit. Our moisture is supposed to come from melting snow in the mountains...not torrential downpours ruining cars, roofs and vegetation with hail and flooding roads because the ground is too dry and hard to absorb all that at once.

Well, now we'll know. (4, Interesting)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#28612895)

I saw the tag but haven't seen this explicitly mentioned yet: one theory is that lack of sunspots causes Earth to warm up. (There is a very strong negative correlation between sunspot activity and temperature on Earth.)

Maybe now we'll find out who's right.

Re:Well, now we'll know. (1)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 5 years ago | (#28612993)

It's all part of Karl Rove's nefarious plan ...

Will it really matter? (4, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613007)

Because I betcha that if Congress gets Cap and Trade in place, throw in some Kyoto claims, that in a few years if we see a cooling trend beyond our current one, they will lay claim to proof they were right.

In other words, the salesmen won. No matter the out come they will claim to have proven themselves. In the end all we get will be more embedded taxes.

Re:Will it really matter? (0, Flamebait)

Bemopolis (698691) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613121)

So unlike you, who sounds completely objective and scientifically knowledgeable.

Re:Well, now we'll know. (4, Funny)

mordors9 (665662) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613031)

You guys with your wacky theories that the Sun may affect our temperatures..

Re:Well, now we'll know. (2, Funny)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613309)

You guys with your wacky qualitative science.

Re:Well, now we'll know. (2, Informative)

DarkHelmet (120004) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613069)

No it doesn't [youtube.com] .

Re:Well, now we'll know. (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613089)

So is that physical law strong or biology strong?

Re:Well, now we'll know. (1)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613115)

I saw the tag but haven't seen this explicitly mentioned yet: one theory is that lack of sunspots causes Earth to warm up.

Round here, it's been the mildest summer temperature-wise in a long time.

(DC area)

Re:Well, now we'll know. (3, Insightful)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613163)

So, what, the last 50 years of steady warming, during which multiple sunspot cycles occurred, isn't enough for you? Or are you just a big fan of cherry-picking data to support your pet conclusions?

Re:Well, now we'll know. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28613207)

The last 50 years have also seen a large increase in the sunspot activity per cycle.

Re:Well, now we'll know. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28613897)

No it hasn't. In fact we are pretty much at the same level we were in 1850 for sunspots.
http://solar-center.stanford.edu/sun-on-earth/600px-Temp-sunspot-co2.svg.png

Re:Well, now we'll know. (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613471)

Um, I'm thinking GP might have it other-way-around. Sunspots are caused by violent electromagnetic activity on the sun; more active = hotter, or at least that is what I had heard.

Re:Well, now we'll know. (5, Funny)

Nautical Insanity (1190003) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613167)

There is a very strong negative correlation between sunspot activity and temperature on Earth.

Aha! So global warming is causing the sunspots to disappear!

Re:Well, now we'll know. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28613285)

Could you back this up with some data. If anything, the inverse is true. The last 50 years have seen a large increase in the number of sunspots per solar cycle.

Re:Well, now we'll know. (4, Interesting)

radtea (464814) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613755)

There are some interesting data available on Earth's albedo (reflectivity): http://earth.myfastforum.org/sutra1069.php [myfastforum.org] Check out the linked sources, in particular.

Summary: there is some evidence that Earth's albedo has decreased by as much as 2% (absolute, almost 10% relative) in the past twenty years. A decrease in albedo means less visible light is being reflected by the planet, implying that more is being absorbed, which would tend to increase planetary heat content.)

A 2.0% variation in albedo is huge: over twice the effect of all anthropogenic greenhouse gases combined (6.8 W/m**2 vs about 5 W/m**2). However, because much of the change is due to changes in cloud cover, one must also account for the changes in infrared absorption from different kinds of clouds, which makes a head-to-head comparison tricky. However, while the effect of different types of cloud cover can reduce the effect of albedo variations, the residual is still as large or larger than current estimates of human greenhouse gas contributions to climate forcing.

Final grain of salt: albedo is a physically meaningful term, unlike "global average temperature", but it is still very tricky to measure, and therefore these results should be taken with a grain of salt. However, the magnitude of the effect is such that it is difficult--but not impossible--to imagine it not having a pretty major influence on climate.

Cloud cover maybe correlated with cosmic ray flux, which may be correlated with sunspot activity.

Based on the data we have, it appears Earth's albedo has been anomalously low in the past decade or more, and may now be popping back up to something closer to the long term average (0.315 as opposed to as low as 0.305 in the past decade). If that is the case, then we can expect to see a pronounced drop in "global average temperature" in the next few years.

If that happens, then climate forcing due to albedo variation is going to start looking pretty plausible as a significant cause of the high "global average temperatures" seen in the past decade.

Re:Well, now we'll know. (1)

patch0 (1339585) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613765)

Almost right, the theory is in fact the reverse of your statement: linkage [bbc.co.uk]

Global Warming (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28612975)

The increase in temperature of planet Earth caused by Global Warming has changed the ambient temperature in our Solar System ever so slightly. This has caused irreparable damage the the Sun's delicate jet stream. The Cap and Trade bill will be too late to prevent Supernova.

It's actually not much of a sunspot group. (5, Informative)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#28612995)

Go check it out at http://www.solarcycle24.com/ [solarcycle24.com]

This guy's everything about the sun that one can track. In particular, he has an image of the sun on the upper left hand corner that shows how pathetic this sunspot group.

I wouldn't say the sunspot drought is over, until there is sustained progress.

Re:It's actually not much of a sunspot group. (4, Interesting)

NotNormallyNormal (1311339) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613633)

As a space physicist, I agree. Certainly we have seen an increase in the number of sunspots in the last month but most die out rapidly. However, other solar activity, such as corona holes (of which there are two) are becoming more common. The current set of holes [spaceweather.com] should cause activity at the Earth on or about the 12th of July.

Man saved Earth? (4, Interesting)

Spy Handler (822350) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613261)

IIRC, the last time sunspots were at a minimum like this, earth was in the little ice age, and hundreds of millions of people died due to crops freezing, glaciers overrunning towns, disease, etc.

So maybe we're supposed to be in another little ice age, but all the greenhouse gases warmed the planet and saved us?

O____O

and in other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28613429)

the Dow Industrials climbed 400 points.

Global warming (2, Funny)

edmicman (830206) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613613)

Obviously it's man-made global (solar?) warming that is causing this increased sunspot activity...

Sunspots Return (1)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613915)

That's what happens when you stop using Clearasil!

For all your space weather needs (1)

The_Duck271 (1494641) | more than 5 years ago | (#28613927)

Those interested in this kind of stuff may want to check out http://spaceweather.com/ [spaceweather.com] -- it's like a weather site, for space!
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