The Sun goes through cycles where sunspot activity increases roughly every 11 years when the poles flip.
We’re now about two years into the 25th cycle recorded since 1755.
Dr. Schunker says the solar maximum in this cycle is likely to occur around 2025 (give or take a year).
“That means that the Sun is becoming more and more magnetically active … and this is when flares and CMEs occur.”
On the 13th March 2022, rainbow-like lights known as Auroras danced in the sky, and people living in the most northern areas of the U. S. Canada, and Europe, and the most Southern areas in New Zealand and Australia might have noticed them. Did you?
A spot on the sun blasted a flare bigger than the earth into space’s atmosphere. A solar flare is a powerful force that causes huge amounts of energy to travel through space, and sometimes, we get to see this energy as colourful electrical lights that brighten up the night sky. Isn’t that amazing?
How are Aurora lights formed? Watch these videos to learn more.
The sun is one of the biggest stars, and it is so gigantic, so huge you won’t see anything bigger than the sun anywhere on earth. It only seems small because it is 150 million kilometers from earth. Compare a netball to a grain of sand or a pinhead. The netball represents the sun while the grain of sand represents the earth. How many grains of sand can fit into a netball? Did you know that 1 million earths will fit into the sun?
The sun is an active ball of fire that is rolling, jumping, and skipping much like a campfire. The heat and gasses swirl and turn at 10 000 degrees on the outside, while the inside is burning millions of degrees hotter. Can you imagine?
Did you know that the sun creates space weather when a solar storm erupts? During a solar storm, huge amounts of electromagnetic energy can flow towards the earth with the solar wind. This phenomenon is known as Coronal Mass Ejections (CME). The magnetic fields within CME’s can interfere with earth’s power grids and cause electricity outages. But most solar storms are not big enough to cause a lot of damage, and the earth’s magnetic field will protect us from solar storms. We may need to get out the candles to burn for light and use the gass BBQ to cook dinner though.
Every 11 years the sun completes a solar cycle and transitions from a calm period to an intense and stormy time. The current Solar Cycle 25 began in December 2019 and it is predicted that the next solar maximum may be in July 2025. This is when the sun is expected to be at peak activity. The sun’s activity is tracked by counting sunspots which are the dark spots visible on the sun when seen through special tools. We should never ever look at the sun with our naked eyes, as we will damage them.
During a very active stormy time on the sun, a CME was noticed by Samuel McGowan in 1859. It interfered with telegraph transmission lines that ran from Adelaide to Sydney (and all over the world), and it is the most powerful in recorded history known as the Carrington Event.
Use these Notebooking Pages to explore the sun.
So what will Solar Cycle 25 look like?
Visit NASA and research their predictions HERE.
Visit Solar Dynamics Observatory to see what the sun looks like now HERE.
Read how solar storms have affected the earth 7 times HERE.
Read how Australia will be affected by a solar storm in the internet age HERE.
Read how mysterious vortex waves have been discovered on the sun HERE.
Explore the Sun:
Explore the Anatomy of the Sun HERE.
Discover the Sun’s energy HERE.
Find out how dynamic the sun is HERE. Did you know the sun has its own North and South Points?
Learn how Earth’s Magnetic Field protects us from solar winds and asteriods HERE.
Explore the Electromagnetic Spectrum HERE.
Investigate how the sun is being studied with Solar Space Telescopes HERE.
Conduct your own investigation of the sun with The Sun’s Interactive Lab HERE.
Colour in this Solar Flare page HERE.
Listen to this read-aloud story.
Harvest the sun’s energy to make a sticky treat.
Play with the power of the sun with this experiment:
Sing along with Sylvie!
By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and all the stars by the breath of His mouth.Psalm 33: 6 Borean Study Bible
And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years,Genesis 1:14 ESV
From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the Lord is to be praised!Psalm 113:3 ESV