NOAA releases new predictions for solar cycle
The sun has entered its weakest cycle of magnetic activity since 1928, meaning fewer solar flares and coronal mass ejections, scientists predicted in a May 8 teleconference. A panel of solar scientists assembled by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center reports that the cycle, which scientists believe began in December 2008, will peak in May 2013.
Storms of solar magnetic activity cause flares and ejections that can spit X-rays, UV light and billions of tons of charged particles into space, and toward Earth. These outbursts can make Earth’s upper atmosphere expand, potentially knocking out electrical grids and disrupting satellite communications — an