Researchers Crack the Case of the Missing Sunspots

Image of the sun taken on March 2008In 2008-2009, sunspots almost completely disappeared for two years. Solar activity dropped to hundred-year lows;  Earth’s upper atmosphere cooled and collapsed; the sun’s magnetic field weakened, allowing cosmic rays to penetrate the Solar System in record numbers. It was a big event, and solar physicists openly wondered, where have all the sunspots gone?  

Now they know. An answer is being published in the March 3rd edition of Nature, but you can read about it here.

Author: Dr. Tony Phillips

Credit: Science@NASA