University of Warwick Researchers Can Predict When Sun Will Wake-Up and Get Angry

Sunday, June 14, 2020 - 12:52

Researchers at the University of Warwick have succeeded in designing a new sun clock which can predict the time when sun will wake up.

As the Sun wakes-up from its current slumber, solar activity will increase; so the risk of extreme “space weather” is imminent, Forbs reports.

According to a new Sun clock devised by researchers at the University of Warwick, and published this week in Geophysical Research Letters, that pinpoints times of sharp switch on and off of high solar activity and space weather.

“We are very close to the switch-on of activity, which our work shows can be quite abrupt,” said Professor Sandra Chapman at the University of Warwick’s Center for Fusion, Space and Astrophysics, and lead author, to Forbes. “We are pretty close, so expecting it sometime in 2020, if the Sun continues to behave as it has done in the past—which it may not.”

However, the research shows that when our Sun does switch-on after its quiet period, solar storms will likely occur much more frequently.

“Our sun clock method showed clear switch-on and switch-off times demarcating quiet and active intervals for space weather for the first time,” said Chapman. “Large events can happen at any time, but are much more likely around solar maximum.”

The scientists hope the Sun clock will help in planning for space and ground-based infrastructure sensitive to space weather. “If we can give an indication of when conditions will be quiet, it allows planning for maintenance of this infrastructure,” said Chapman. “It also establishes what the minimum level of activity is when it is quiet.”

The research was co-authored by Scott Mcintosh of the National Center for Atmospheric Research and Robert Leamon of the University of Maryland and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

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