Sunspots, Flares, and Solar Wind

What is Solar Max and how does it affect life on Earth?

Solar Max is short for “solar maximum,” a time of especially strong solar storm activity. The Sun goes through a cycle during which, about every eleven years or so, the number of sunspots and solar flares is much higher for a period of time than usual. The causes of this sunspot cycle are an important topic of research for astronomers, because strong solar activity can affect electrical power grids, telecommunications, and the control systems of satellites orbiting Earth. The most recent Solar Max occurred in 2012; for about a year, there was continuous sunspot activity without a single interruption.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Astronomy Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App