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Computer model explains low solar activity
Posted: Thu, Mar 3, 2011, 7:40 AM ET (1240 GMT)
Solar storm on 2010 August 2 (CfA) Scientists said a new computer model can explain why the Sun had a low level of activity in recent years. In a paper published in the journal Nature, American and Indian scientists explained solar activity through computer models of "plasma rivers" that flow from the Sun's equator to its polar regions. These plasma rivers change speeds, and a faster speed during the first half of the Sun's 11-year cycle followed by a slowdown can explain low level of solar activity during the recent solar minimum. The Sun is now headed to another peak in activity over the next few years, although predictions call for a lower level of activity than in the previous few cycles.
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