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©2001 by Richard Nolle


WOW!DEC 17, 2001 - Sunspots & The Solar Cycle is a great place to get a handle on the Sun, through a solar phenomenon known to astrologers since ancient times. I'm talking about sunspots of course, those cyclical dark eminences. At this NASA-sponsored site, you get current sunspot activity (updated daily), as well as graphs of annual sunspot counts back to 1749. Who cares? You do, whether you know it or not, because sunspots and solar magnetic energy are correlated in ways that seem to bear upon our climate down here on Earth. (The Little Ice Age of the late 17th-early 18th Centuries came during a time when sunspots more or less disappeared from the face of our home star.) The more sunspots, the more solar flares (tremendous explosions on the surface of the Sun) and coronal mass ejections . . . and the more we get juiced up with solar energy down here on our home planet. In Ptolemy's time, such correlations were simply termed astrology. Today they're called solar physics. But what's in a name, anyway?

Technical note: Web Site Garage rates Sunspots & The Solar Cycle fair over-all, as well as in load time (18.20 seconds with a 56k modem). In comparison, the page you're now reading rates good in both categories (with a load time of 6.93 seconds at 56k).

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