Planet Earth is being bombarded by cosmic rays which are among the most powerful in recorded history as the sun set a Space Age record for spotlessness.
The sun is currently going through a period in its 11-year cycle called the solar minimum, which means sunspot activity has slowed and its face has gone blank.
Normally, the sun protects our solar system from cosmic rays – which are deadly beams of particles which shoot through space. But when the sun reaches solar minimum, its magnetic field weakens and allows more rays to pour into our star system.
This doesn’t tend to pose a threat to anyone here on Earth, but it’s risky for astronauts and satellites outside our atmosphere. Scientists use balloons to measure the strength of cosmic rays as they smash into Earth’s atmosphere.
The ‘Space Age record’ for cosmic rays was set in 2009/ 2010 during the last solar minimum, but experts believe we could be about to see even more powerful beams hit our planet. [..]
This solar slowdown often causes temporary cooling in Earth’s atmosphere Climate change deniers often hail this cooling as evidence that the heating of our world is about to go into reverse.
Sadly, this is very unlikely to be true because the sun follows an 11-year cycle, meaning it will simply spring back to life in the coming years. However, once activity ramps up, the sun will be rocked by an increased number of gigantic ‘monster’ explosions, Nasa warned earlier this year.