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Question

The Nasa newsletters state sun spot activity is increasing from expected count. What is the cause for excessive sun spot activity?
Asked by: Malcolm W. Kroeber Sr.

Answer

Sun spot activity rises to a maximum on an 11-year cycle, and this year will be one such peak.

The main cause of sun spots relates to the rotation of the Sun, and to its magnetic fields. Because the Sun isn't a solid object but mostly made up of compressed gases and plasma, different regions rotate at different speeds. Since the Sun's magnetic field is partially embedded in this unevenly moving material, it becomes gradually distorted and twisted. At those locations on the Sun where this distortion is most pronounced, the fields are strongest. At these points sun spots are most likely to occur.
Answered by: Paul Braxton, B.A., Retired - Portland, Oregon


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