For the first time in almost two years, the surface of the Sun is free from sunspots. What's happening?
Sunspots are nodes of geomagnetic shocks that lead to solar flares and coronal mass ejections.
During its peak in April 2014, the Sun had an average of up to 116 sunspots. The current state of the Sun, which began on June 3 and continues to this day, is an indicator of the solar minimum.
“At present, the solar cycle is not yet complete. However, it is rapidly decreasing,” Tony Phillips writes on spaceweather.com.
The next solar minimum is expected in 2019-2020, but it will be a gradual transition.
“Under the visible surface of the Sun, new knots of magnetism are still forming, which will soon burst to the surface to create new sunspots,” writes Phillips. "There will be enough time between the current state of the Sun and the minimum, when there will not be any sunspots on the surface of the Sun." Life at the star does not become easier during the solar minimum. On the one hand, the upper layers of the Earth’s atmosphere will be cooled and condensed on the surface of space debris that flies around the surface of the Earth.
In addition, as solar activity decreases, astronauts in space will be at greater risk due to omnipotent galactic cosmic rays that will not linger in the Earth’s heliosphere.