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The sun is blank… And it shouldn’t change as we near solar minimum at great speed. Sunspots are becoming scarce. So far in 2018, the sun has been blank – without sunspots – for 37 days. That’s more than half of the time. The last time the sun was blank more than 50% of the time was in 2009, near the end of the deepest Solar Minimum of the Space Age.
Periods of spotlessness are a normal part of the 11-year solar cycle. However, the current Solar Minimum may be remarkable as the ambient solar wind and its magnetic field are weakening to low levels never before seen in the Space Age.
The flagging pressure of the solar wind, in turn, is allowing more cosmic rays to penetrate the solar system.
These rays are being detected not only by NASA spacecraft in the Earth-Moon system, but also by space weather balloons in Earth’s atmosphere. And the cosmic ray radiation hitting Earth seems to intensify and getting worse.
Now the sun is entering a new Solar Minimum, and it is shaping up to be even deeper than before. Be prepared!