Science buffs! It’s time for another astronomy lesson, this one introducing vocabulary for a couple of interested students at the Smith’s School of English in Kotoen スミス英会話 甲東園. The vocabulary pertains specifically to our very own day star, this post being the third part in the series that began with the solar eclipse last May 21 and the Venus transit on June 6, 2012.
Vocabulary required, given in plural where appropriate:
Spicules, prominences, flares, granulation, filamentation, bandpass, Solar Maximum, Doppler tuning, CaK, H-alpha, heliosphere, Marauder Minimum
The Sun has shown fairly consistent 11-year sun spot cycles from its maximum to minimum, and following a predictable number of cycles comes a 13-year cycle, after which time solar activity has gone into a period of quiet that lasts 70 years. We are on the cusp of that 13-year, mega solar max cycle, the last measured time was 1420-1500 and again 1640-1700. A third period spanned much of the 19th Century.
Lesson discussions focus on what sort of climatic patterns we might imagine developing after 2026 if historical patterns of solar activity hold true in the future. Auroral sightings, also strongly correlated to sun spot activity, have been particularly frequent and dramatic in recent years, and we are profoundly interested in what the future holds for this phenomenon as well. In any case, solar observing has never been better than right now!
Martin Werner Zander
Smith’s School in Kotoen 月謝制 Monthly Tuition English Conversation School