Sun  ID: 11150

Space Weather Forecast

The sun goes through a natural cycle approximately every 11 years, hitting peaks and valleys of solar activity. The cycle is marked by the increase and decrease of sunspots—visible as dark blemishes on the sun's surface and connected to eruptions such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections. The largest number of sunspots in any given solar cycle is designated as "solar maximum," and this next peak of activity is predicted to occur in 2013. The eruptions that occur during solar maximum can't harm humans on Earth. But scientists observe this activity, what they call space weather, because it can affect satellites in orbit and disrupt power grids on the ground. Watch the movie to see the kind of gigantic, and often beautiful, eruptions we expect to see more of in 2013.

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Story Credits

Video Editor:
Scott Wiessinger (USRA)

Scott Wiessinger (USRA)

Lead Writer:
Karen Fox (ADNET)

Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

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