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I just re-read a blog entry by my friend Frank who mentioned the large amounts of smoke over Melbourne during some days in December.

This reminded me that I'd taken a photograph of the sun through the smoke. If you look fairly closely, you'll see some sunspots.


(c) Anthony Holmes 2006



Which leads me to a story I heard on the radio a little bit before Christmas. NASA has sponsored two groups to produce independent predictions about how strong the next cycle of sunspots is going to be. Apparently knowing this is very important if you are managing satellites or space stations or power networks.

Unfortunately, one group is confidently predicting a very weak cycle, whilst the other group is predicting the strongest cycle ever. And they are both standing by their predictions. This is one case where simply splitting the difference between the two groups probably won't work.

You can read more about it here. We won't know who is right for a couple of years.

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Anthony Holmes December 27th, 2006 11:34:43 PM

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