Sun has been blank for FIFTEEN consecutive days as Earth braces for COLD SNAP | Science | News

We are now in the fifteenth consecutive day in which there have been no sunspots.

Experts believe this is evidence that the sun is heading into the solar minimum as a blank Sun is usually proof that a solar maximum is ending.

According to Space Weather: “The Sun has been without spots for 15 straight days. To find an equally long stretch of blank suns, you have to go all the way back to November 2009 when the sun was emerging from the deepest solar minimum in a century.”

Vencore Weather, a meteorological website, said: “Low solar activity is known to have consequences on Earth’s weather and climate and it also is well correlated with an increase in cosmic rays that reach the upper part of the atmosphere.

“The blank sun is a sign that the next solar minimum is approaching and there will be an increasing number of spotless days over the next few years.”

The Sun follows cycles of roughly 11 years where it reaches a solar maximum and then a solar minimum.

During a solar maximum, the Sun gives off more heat and is littered with sunspots. Less heat in a solar minimum is due to a decrease in magnetic waves.

The Sun was not expected to head into a solar minimum until around 2020, but it appears to be heading in early which could prove to be bad news.

The last time there was a prolonged solar minimum, it led to a ‘mini ice-age’, scientifically known as the Maunder minimum – which lasted for 70 years.

The Maunder minimum, which saw seven decades of freezing weather, began in 1645 and lasted through to 1715, and happened when sunspots were exceedingly rare.

During this period, temperatures dropped globally by 1.3 degrees Celsius leading to shorter seasons and ultimately food shortages.

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