Magnetic waves slowing down sunspots

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It's ironic given the gloriously sunny weather we've been blessed with this week, but the notable (some may say troubling) lack in solar activity recently has been a hot topic here at the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science. In a talk during a session called 'The Unusual (?) Solar Cycle', S Zharkov and VV Zharkova from the University of Bradford presented a talk on how unknown magnetic waves, out of phase with each other, may be capable of suppressing sunspots. When the waves intersect there occurs a maximum of solar activity, but the next intersection will occur close the equator, which may explain why there has been a lack of sunspots recently at higher altitudes. The effect driving these two fields is currently unknown. Image courtesy SOHO (NASA/ESA). 

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cooper published on April 22, 2009 12:52 PM.

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