Not only are sunspots at a record low, so is the solar wind. The stream of charged particles blowing out of the sun is at its lowest point for 50 years.
In BBC News, Jonathan Amos quotes researcher Dave McComas as saying, "This is a whole sun phenomenon. The entire Sun is blowing significantly less hard?about 20-25% less hard?than it was during the last solar minimum 10-15 years ago.
"That's a very significant change. In fact, the solar wind we're seeing now is blowing the least hard we've see it for a prolonged time, since the start of those observations in the 1960s at the start of the space age."
Is this good or bad? It's NOT a good time for space travel: Amos quotes researcher Nancy Crooker as saying, "The Sun also puts out cosmic rays in the form of bursts and these bursts are much less frequent at solar minimum. However, when they do occur at solar minimum, they are more lethal, so this is not a good time to be travelling in space owning to both kinds of cosmic rays."
Art credit: gimp-savvy.com
Not everyone thinks of space (and UFOs) as important news, but WE do! Still want to listen to some of these shows? Regular unknowncountry.com. listeners only have access to a month of shows, but subscribers can listen?and re-listen?for an entire year, as well as download shows to an MP3 disc so you can listen in your car and in other places away from your computer. To get ALL THIS, Subscribe today?(and please click on the "donate" tab on our homepage too!)
NOTE: This news story, previously published on our old site, will have any links removed.