The Sun also SLEEPS! Astonishing revelation by Indian researchers

Has there ever been a time where the Sun has fallen asleep? Know what happened during this event.

| Updated on: Oct 03 2022, 19:46 IST
Think you know our Sun? Check out THESE 5 stunning facts
1/5 The Sun is the largest object in our solar system and is a 4.5 billion-year-old star – a hot glowing ball of hydrogen and helium at the center of the solar system. It is about 93 million miles (150 million kilometers) from Earth, and without its energy, life as we know it could not exist here on our home planet. (Pixabay)
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2/5 The Sun’s volume would need 1.3 million Earths to fill it. Its gravity holds the solar system together, keeping everything from the biggest planets to the smallest bits of debris in orbit around it. The hottest part of the Sun is its core, where temperatures top 27 million degrees Fahrenheit (15 million degrees Celsius). The Sun’s activity, from its powerful eruptions to the steady stream of charged particles it sends out, influences the nature of space throughout the solar system. (NASA)
3/5 According to NASA, measuring a “day” on the Sun is complicated because of the way it rotates. It doesn't spin as a single, solid ball. This is because the Sun’s surface isn't solid like Earth's. Instead, the Sun is made of super-hot, electrically charged gas called plasma. This plasma rotates at different speeds on different parts of the Sun. At its equator, the Sun completes one rotation in 25 Earth days. At its poles, the Sun rotates once on its axis every 36 Earth days. (NASA)
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4/5 Above the Sun’s surface are its thin chromosphere and the huge corona (crown). This is where we see features such as solar prominences, flares, and coronal mass ejections. The latter two are giant explosions of energy and particles that can reach Earth. (Pixabay)
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5/5 The Sun doesn’t have moons, but eight planets orbit it, at least five dwarf planets, tens of thousands of asteroids, and perhaps three trillion comets and icy bodies. Also, several spacecraft are currently investigating the Sun including Parker Solar Probe, STEREO, Solar Orbiter, SOHO, Solar Dynamics Observatory, Hinode, IRIS, and Wind. (Pixabay)
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now what happens when the Sun falls asleep. (Pixabay)

Our Sun is nearing the middle of its 11-year solar cycle, resulting in increased solar activity and solar output. Earth has faced numerous solar flares these past few months and more are expected as the Sun moves ahead in its cycle. This has resulted in more frequent solar eruptions resulting in more solar flares sent hurtling towards Earth with the potential of causing power grid failures, blackouts and GPS crashes. Scientists expect solar activity to be at its peak in the year 2025 when the Sun is well into its solar cycle.

The Sun is nearly 4.6 billion years old, formed at the same time as our Solar System. However, it has not shone as brightly throughout the years. In fact, the Sun has had years when its solar activity has been minimum, known as the “Grand Minimum”. Now, an astonishing revelation has been made by the researchers at the Center of Excellence in Space Sciences India, as per India Today. In a study published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society journal, Indian researchers Chitradeep Saha along with Sanghita Chandra and Professor Dibyendu Nandy have studied previous 10,000 years of solar activity to determine the effects of the period when the Sun has fallen into a trough so to speak.

The study revealed that even when the Sun has been in a state of deep sleep, solar activity has been constant on its surface as well as its interior. Although much of the solar activity such as solar flares and sunspots stopped, minimum magnetic activity continued to take place, which is necessary to maintain the solar cycle.

Chitradeep Saha, lead author of the paper told India Today, “Our 10,000-year-long computer simulations shed light on the dynamics that go on in the solar interior and at the polar regions even when there are critically low number of sunspot eruptions on the solar surface for a prolonged period known as grand solar minimum.”

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First Published Date: 03 Oct, 19:45 IST
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