The Abstract Podcast

Solar Cycle 25: How the Sun’s turbulent activity shapes life on Earth

In this episode, we explore how scientists are predicting solar activity in the cosmos — and using scientific evidence to calm hysteria here on Earth.

As far as stars go, the Sun is exceptionally busy. The sheer force of the Sun’s turbulent flares and magnetic explosions are powerful enough to disrupt space weather as a whole. It turns out being a big, fiery ball of hot gas can be exhausting. So, every now and then, even the Sun is in need of some downtime. And that’s exactly what it’s been doing for the past 50 years.

Lately, the Sun has been unusually inactive, marking a period known as the Solar Minimum. This recent drop in solar activity led to speculation that the Sun’s behavior is alarmingly weak — causing some to fear that a dark, cold world of famine, war — and even volcanic eruptions — could be around the corner. However, science says those panicking need to take a cue from the Sun and chill out.

As we enter Solar Cycle 25, scientists are painting a clearer picture of how the Sun’s latest activity could impact space weather.

In this episode of The Abstract, we explore how scientists are predicting solar activity in the cosmos — and using scientific evidence to calm hysteria here on Earth.

Our first story breaks down the science behind the solar minimum. While the Sun’s current period of low activity led some to panic, scientific evidence offers a reasonable explanation on how the current solar cycle will actually impact our daily lives on earth.

Our second story takes a closer look at Solar Cycle 25. With the new cycle poised to affect future voyages into space, scientists are working to better understand solar activity and better predict it in the future.

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Right now, facts and science matter more than ever. That's part of the reason for The Abstract, this all-new podcast from the Inverse staff that focuses exclusively on science and innovation. Three new episodes are released a week, and each covers one theme via two related stories. Each features audio of original Inverse reporting, where the facts and context take center stage. It's hosted by the Tanya Bustos of WSJ Podcasts. Because we're Inverse, it's all true but slightly off-kilter. It's made for people who want to know the whole story. Nick Lucchesi, executive editor, Inverse

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