What is the solar cycle? (Beginner)

Hello. Thank you for reading this question. I am really stuck on this question for science class. What are solar cycles and could a part of the solar cycle affect earth? I hope you can answer this question. again, thank you for your time.

The term 'solar cycle' refers to a cycle of how active the Sun is and has a period of 11 years. A solar cycle is directly linked to the pattern of sunspot appearance and disappearance on the solar surface. This is commonly illustrated in the form of a solar butterfly diagram. Sunspots generally form at high latitudes towards the beginning of a solar cycle. As the solar cycle proceeds, sunspots begin to appear at lower latitudes.

It is thought that the luminosity, (or how bright the Sun is) may vary with solar cycles, and since all the energy on the Earth comes from the Sun, this could have a big effect on our climate.

Here are some websites with more information on the solar cycle:

This page was last updated on Jan 28, 2019.

About the Author

Karen Masters

Karen Masters

Karen was a graduate student at Cornell from 2000-2005. She went on to work as a researcher in galaxy redshift surveys at Harvard University, and is now on the Faculty at the University of Portsmouth back in her home country of the UK. Her research lately has focused on using the morphology of galaxies to give clues to their formation and evolution. She is the Project Scientist for the Galaxy Zoo project.

Twitter:  @KarenLMasters
Website:  http://icg.port.ac.uk/~mastersk/

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