Don’t be alarmed, but our sun has just ‘gone blank’ - with a total lack of sunspots leaving the surface like a snooker ball.
It’s part of the sun’s cycles - a sign that the ‘solar minimum’ is approaching - and some experts have suggested a new ‘mini ice age’ might be on the way.
Meteorology expert Paul Dorian of Vencore Weather says, ‘For the second time this month, the sun has gone completely blank.
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‘The blank sun is a sign that the next solar minimum is approaching and there will be an increasing number of spotless days over the next few years.
‘At first, the blankness will stretch for just a few days at a time, then it’ll continue for weeks at a time, and finally it should last for months at a time when the sunspot cycle reaches its nadir. The next solar minimum phase is expected to take place around 2019 or 2020.’
Some experts predict that we could soon see a ‘Maunder minimum’ phase - a mini ice age similar to one which began in 1645.
During the ‘Maunder Minimum’, temperatures plunged so much that the Thames froze over.
Prof Valentina Zharkova of Northumbria University predicts that there will be a sharp decline in solar activity between 2020 and 2050.
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Zharkova said, last year, ‘I am absolutely confident in our research. It has good mathematical background and reliable data, which has been handled correctly. In fact, our results can be repeated by any researchers with the similar data available in many solar observatories, so they can derive their own evidence of upcoming Maunder Minimum in solar magnetic field and activity.’