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Our Sun's 11-year cycle of activity varies the amount of incoming Galactic Cosmic Radiation received here on Earth.
The 11-year sunspot or solar cycle is a rhythmic waxing and waning of the number of dark sunspots on the visible disk of the Sun. It comes from the "winding-up" of the solar magnetic field during which the magnetic field gradually decays and then finally undergoes a total magnetic reversal, which is when the magnetic poles flip. As the magnetic field becomes gradually more entwined towards solar maximum the surface fields of the Sun becomes more and more wrapped up. This increases the activity on the surface of the Sun, seen as sunspots (regions of highly complex and intense magnetic fields) and the more frequent occurrence of solar flares and coronal mass ejections.
April 25th, 2012
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