Close Window
Solar Activity 'Heating Up' April 22, 2011
solar image
Sunspots and solar flares can be seen across the solar surface on April 4, 2011.
Solar activity is heating up rapidly after three years in which the sun appeared to be nearly free of sunspots. “Finally, we are beginning to see some action,” said NASA solar physicist Richard Fisher.

In 2008, the sun entered one of the deepest minimums in almost a century, with sunspots all but absent and with few eruptions of solar flares.

While lulls in solar activity come regularly every 11 years or so, the one that just passed was the most prolonged since reliable observations began around 1755.

Recent solar storms produced vivid aurora displays in March and will eventually lead to a peak in the current cycle early in 2013.

Photo: NASA SOHO Observatory