A recent study shows that the sun is most active midway through its solar cycle

As simple as it is to forecast weather on Earth, things are not that simple when it comes to predicting solar storms.

It is particularly important to predict these solar storms as the solar radiation that they bring along with them has drastic consequences on the astronauts, orbiting spacecraft and power grids on Earth.

Solar storms are generated when sun periodically spits out solar flares and solar winds. The solar radiation can alter the genetic structure of astronauts that are on space missions, and in worst-case scenarios, they can be fatal. The solar flares from the sun can penetrate through Earth’s protective layer of the atmosphere, causing mayhem down on the land. Such as the solar storm of 1972 ruptured the telecommunication networks and power systems.

In a recently published study, the scientists surveyed the Sun’s activity over 18 solar cycles to create a standardized 11-year cycle. With this, scientists plan on predicting the Sun’s behavior and solar storms.

So far, scientists know that the sun completes its solar cycle in 11 days, and it is the most active when it is halfway through its solar cycle. This was known when maximum sunspots were observed on the Sun’s surface when it was halfway through its solar cycle. When the sun is most active it sends out more solar radiation out into space.

The data that was used for this study has been accumulated for over 200 years. The sun clock created by these observations can help the scientists to predict solar storms in the future and take necessary precautions beforehand to prevent any tragedies.

Source: https://doi.org/10.1029/2020GL087795

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