Waiting for Sunspot
The sun has gone quiet. Really quiet.
It is normal for our sun to have quiet periods between solar cycles, but we’ve seen months and months of next to nothing, and the start of Solar cycle 24 seems to have materialized (as first reported here) then abruptly disappeared. The reverse polarity sunspot that signaled the start of cycle 24 on January 4th, dissolved within two days after that.___Anthony Watts___via TomNelson
Solar Cycle 24 is still trying to get started. Sunspots are a reflection of violent activity deep within the fluid sun. A lack of sunspots should tell us something about what is and is not happening within the star.
The Babcock model says that the differential rotation of the Sun winds up the magnetic fields of it’s layers during a solar cycle. The magnetic fields will then eventually tangle up to such a degree that they will eventually cause a magnetic break down and the fields will have to struggle to reorganize themselves by bursting up from the surface layers of the Sun. This will cause magnetic North-South pair boundaries (spots) in the photosphere trapping gaseous material that will cool slightly. Thus, when we see sunspots, we are seeing these areas of magnetic field breakdown.___WattsThe ancients understood the importance of the sun, and had their ways to jumpstart the sun god, whenever he got lazy. In the movie "Sunshine", scientists had invented an exotic matter bomb, to re-ignite a cooling sun.
What we may be seeing is a prelude to a solar minimum(PDF). If so, it is too early to determine whether it will be of short duration or intermediate duration. The Maunder Minimum of the 17th century had repercussions lasting over a century.