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04-03-2014 from Christoph Kiess, Reza Rezaei, Wolfgang Schmidt

Long-term variations of solar activity

The 11-year solar cycle has been known for centuries. During this time the activity level (measured as sunspot number) changed dramatically from the Maunder minimum (1650-1700) to the Modern maximum in mid 20th century. The extended minimum of the last solar cycle alerted solar physicists about possible long-term variations in the solar magnetic activity. While some argue that the Sun was unusually active in mid 20th century, others find it unusually inactive now. This caused speculations whether the solar activity cycle is overlaid with a long-term decline that may lead to another grand...(Read more)

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