Seasons of the Sun are not Unlike the Earth’s

According to the latest research, the sun also experiences different seasons with periods of waxing and waning, throughout a time period that approximately spans two years.

The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) conducted a study that reveals how understanding ‘seasonal changes could allow researchers to better predict patters of solar wind activity

Scott McIntosh, the study’s lead author and director of the High Altitude Observatory of the National Center for Atmospheric Research of Boulder, Colorado, said, “what we are looking at here is a large driver of solar storms.”

This semi-annual fluctuation seems to be the effect of changes on the bands of each solar hemisphere’s magnetic fields. These bands are also helpful in forming the 11-year solar cycle, which is a portion of a 22 year cycle.

The Sun’s interior controlled these overlapping bands by its rotations. As they move throughout the Sun’s northern and southern hemispheres, solar activity accomplishes its peak around 11 months and afterwards it steadily wanes.

McIntosh says these semi-annual fluctuations are not unlike regions on Earth that have two seasons, like rainy and dry seasons.

With data came from NASA satellites along with ground-based observatories, researchers tracked solar wind flow as well as violent activity like solar flares coming from the solar surface. These bands traveled throughout the Sun with a cycle of 330 days.

 

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