"Why is such a wimpy Solar Minimum cycle, with only a few sunspots, so strong when it comes to making flares?"
- David Hathaway, Ph.D., NASA Solar PhysicistSeptember 23, 2005 Huntsville, Alabama - The sun in our solar system is a big ball of hydrogen and helium gas that's 107 times larger than the Earth. The sun is like a big nuclear fusion reactor that gives light and heat to the planets. Even at 93 million miles from the sun, the temperatures can support life from the icy poles to the hot equator. Scientists who have studied ice cores report that long before the current Industrial Age's emissions of greenhouse gases linked to global warming, there have been many cycles of heating and cooling on the planet. Could it be that the so-called Solar Constant is not so constant? Could cycles in the sun ranging from lots of sunspots and big solar flares to few sunspots and small solar flares have more to do with Earth temperatures than originally thought?
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