Modern Solar Activity is the Same as the Sun in the 18th Century

First Posted: Feb 09, 2015 08:06 PM EST

It turns out that the sun's activity may be the same as it was in the 18th century. Scientists have standardized historical results and have discovered that solar activity may not have changed much at all

Since 1610, scientists have used telescopes to count sunspots. This has shown that the sun's activity increases every 11 years during what is known as the "solar maximum." The more sunspots that appear, the more luminous the surrounding areas are, and our star shines bright.

That said, the 11-yearcyclesdon't always have the same intensity. The more intense peaks of the sun's luminosity were produced in the 20th century, which experts have called the "modern maximum." Now, though, researchers have reviewed historical data and have found that the sun's activity was elevated during other periods. In fact, the scientists found that the sun had the same levels in the 18th century as today.

"A proper estimate of the past and present activity of the sun, our main source of light and heat, is crucial in understanding numerous phenomena that occur on Earth, especially to rule out the role of the sun in global warming," said Jose Vaquero, one of the researchers, in a news release. "But we come up against the problem that two indices or ways of calculating historical activity exist, and their data does not coincide when describing what happened before the 20th century."

In this case, the researchers managed to correct contradictions that they found. This, in turn, revealed a bit more about the history of our sun.

The findings are published in the journal Space Science Reviews.

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