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New model explains how the Sun loses its spots

Although common sense might indicate that the Sun is pretty much always the same, it undergoes regular cycles of rising and falling activity, lasting roughly 11 years. The solar cycles are characterized by changes in the output of visible and UV light, and the number of sunspots, with sunspots and visible light peaking together. Although the impact of an individual cycle is difficult to detect in the Earth's climate, extended periods of high or low activity have occurred, producing events like the Little Ice Age, and our most recent cycle has seen a long period of low sunspot counts.

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