Sunspot Activity At All Time Low

(Published in TIME Magazine)

Ask any astronomer, and they can tell you that sunspot counts generally rise and fall every 11 years on the average. We also know that their magnetic fields reverse themselves every 22 years.

The year 2008, however, earned what NASA designated as the Sun's blankest year of the space age; on 266 of the year's 366 days, there were no sunspots. It hasn't been this quiet since the year of 1913. This coming from the upwards trend, beginning in 2006 with a height of sunspot activity.

However, sunspot counts for 2009 have dropped even lower. As of March 31st, there were no sunspots on 78 of the year's 90 days. "We're experiencing a very deep solar minimum," says solar physicist Dean Pesnell of the Goddard Space Flight Center. This all begs the question: does solar activity have a long-term effect here on Earth? Does it have a long-term effect on the Evolved?

It seems that times of depressed solar activity correspond with times of global cold. For example, during the 70-year period from 1645 to 1715, few if any sunspots were seen even during expected sunspot maximums, and Western Europe entered a virtual deep-freeze known as the Little Ice Age. Conversely, times of increased solar activity have corresponded with global warning. During the 12th and 13th centuries the Sun was active, and the European climate was quite mild.

We're reminded of the paper authored by Doctor Edward Ray of MIT that correlated a rise in Evolved births globally with the concentrated solar eclipse event of 2006 and excessively high sunspot activity. Does the sun's radiation actually have anything to do with the Evolved? Scientists aren't sold on the idea.

However, Dr.Mohinder Suresh — who's household name seems to have all but disappeared off of the radar as of late — feels that the two facts may very well be related. It's noted that the number of reported births of Evolved in 2009 is so far at a drastic low compared to only three years ago, based on estimated births tracked by registration. What does this mean for the future of the Evolved?

We may be seeing a dry spell of our super-powered brethren in the near future, as the low birth rates of 2009 turn into overall lower evolved population in the years to come.

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