Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Case of the Missing Sunspots

Ham radio operators and shortwave listeners have been pretty discouraged at the lack of our sun to build an appropriate number of sunspots. To the average person, this seems like either a tempest in a teapot or angels dancing on the head of a pin. But to folk who depend on the ionosphere of our planet to reflect radio waves, it is important. The number and size of sunspots on the part of the sun facing the Earth is closely tied to energy coming from the sun to energize the ionosphere's reflection regions. Here is a good discussion from NASA of why those sunspots have not been created and a good story why the folks waiting for them should not lose hope.

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