The sun has been found going through reoccurring cycles for the last atleast eleven years. Most recently, the year 2000 was a solar maximum of sunspots. After 2005, there is an upswing in sunspot activity leading to another solar maximum in 2010 to 2012! – which means, there can be powerful flares, or coronal mass ejections, propelling intense solar radiation at a million mph through the solar system.
But, when will the next solar cycle, the 24th, be especially strong?
It might have begun three weeks ago on July 31st! It is when a small sunspot in the sun’s southern hemisphere was magnetically backward. This means that a really big and stormy solar cycle is beginning – perhaps the stormiest in decades! Sunspots and solar flares will be returning in abundance, producing bright auroras on Earth, keeping aside the dangerous proton storms in space.
But, what impact it will have on the earth’s present climate and eco-system is still unknown!