Ulysses Flyby of the Sun's North Pole (NASA Feature)
it a case of exquisite timing. Just last week, solar physicists
announced the beginning of a new solar cycle and now, Jan. 14th,
the Ulysses spacecraft is flying over a key region of solar activity--the
sun's North Pole.
Solar Cycle 24 Begins (SpaceWeather.com)
physicists have been waiting for the appearance of a reversed-polarity
sunspot to signal the start of the next solar cycle. The wait
is over. A magnetically reversed, high-latitude sunspot emerged
today. This marks the beginning of Solar Cycle 24 and the first
step toward a new solar maximum. Intense solar activity won't
begin right away. Solar cycles usually take a few years to build
from solar minimum (where we are now) to Solar Max (expected in
2011 or 2012). It's a slow journey, but we're on our way!
Cycle 24 Begins" (Science@NASA Feature)
to learn more about the solar cycle and the potential consequences
of increased solar activity.