Astronomy and Space


How long is a solar cycle?

The solar cycle is the periodic change in the number of sunspots. The cycle is taken as the interval between successive minima and is about 11.1 years long. During an entire cycle, solar flares, sunspots, and other magnetic phenomena move from intense activity to relative calm and back again. The solar cycle is one area of study to be carried out by up to ten ATLAS space missions designed to probe the chemistry and physics of the atmosphere. These studies of the solar cycle will yield a more detailed picture of Earth’s atmosphere and its response to changes in the sun.


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