Arvisp (1626837) writes "Solar physicists may have discovered why the Sun recently experienced a prolonged period of weak activity. The most recent so-called "solar minimum" occurred in December 2008. Its drawn-out nature extended the total length of the last solar cycle — the repeating cycle of the Sun's activity — to 12.6 years, making it the longest in almost 200 years. The new research suggests that the longer-than-expected period of weak activity may have been linked to changes in the way a hot soup of charged particles called plasma circulated in the Sun." Link to Original Source
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