University of Maryland
Atlantic Building, Room 2400
4:30 PM Monday, October 19, 2009
Coffee, Tea & Snacks 4:15-4:30 PM

Neil Sheeley
"What's So Peculiar about the Current Sunspot Minimum?"

Abstract: Traditionally, solar physicists become anxious during sunspot minimum as they await the high-latitude sunspot groups of the new cycle. Now, the Sun is slowly emerging from an extended sunspot minimum with conditions not seen in several cycles. In this talk, I will describe some of the characteristics of the current minimum, including its depth, its extended duration, its weak polar magnetic fields, and its small amount of open flux. Flux-transport simulations suggest that these characteristics are a consequence of temporal variations of the Sun's large-scale meridional circulation. They also raise the question of whether the next sunspot maximum may be a relatively small one.

Sponsored by: Department of Physics and the Institute for Physical Science and Technology, University of Maryland. For information call Catha Stewart at (301) 405-4811 or go to the UMD Space Physics group seminar web site.

There is free parking after 4:00 PM in lot B (the big parking garage across the street from the ATL building). There are a limited number of spaces in lot Q next to the new ATL wing with free parking after 4PM even when there is a basketball game on campus.