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:
- NASA's Solar Cycle Primer
- The Sunspot Cycle from NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center
- What is the solar cycle? from NASA's StarChild site
- The Sunspot Cycle from UC Berkeley
- Wikipedia article on the solar cycle
- NASA's Sun-Earth sites
- NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center
This page was last updated on Jan 28, 2019.