This is the height of the 11-year solar cycle, the so-called solar maximum. The face of the Sun should be pockmarked with sunspots, and cataclysmic explosions of X-rays and particles should be whizzing off every which way.
Instead, the Sun has been tranquil, almost spotless.
As W. Dean Pesnell, the project scientist for NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, dryly noted, “We’re not having much of a solar maximum.”
A week ago, a solitary sunspot blemished an otherwise blank yellow disk. In the ensuing days, a few more specks appeared, but even a small explosion, or coronal mass ejection, last Thursday seemed like the halfhearted effort of a slacker star.
“The truth of it is there isn’t a lot going on,” said Joseph M. Kunches, a space scientist at the Space Weather Prediction Center. “It’s been a bit of a dud. You look at the Sun today and you say, ‘What?’”
Ice age ahead …
The Sun runs the earth. Never forget that, else you might get burned.
From the Fallen Angels cover jacket, the story starts out …
As a new Ice Age imperils the world, a lunatic fringe of the environmental movement has taken control of the U.S. government. Finding themselves abandoned by the new regime, the once-thriving space colonies must now replenish their air from scoopships that illegally dive into the atmosphere. But when Alex and Gordon’s ship is hit by a missile, they are sent tumbling to Earth–only to be hunted by authorities with ghastly plans for the two….