THE sun has gone blank again stoking fears Earth could be facing a mini-ice age within three years. Yesterday astonishing images from NASA revealed the star’s sunspots had vanished, leaving it completely blank. Normally the volatile surface of the star is bursting with sunspots.
But for the fourth time this year, the star’s face appeared smooth, possibly meaning the planet is about to enter another long chilly phase.
Sunspot activity is like a pendulum, swinging back and forth within a period of 11 or 12 years, according to SpaceWeather.
But experts say solar activity is falling more rapidly than any time in the last 10,000 years.
The last time sunspots vanished at such a rapid rate was during a centuries-long ice age that began in the 15th century.
With the sunspot cycle expected to hit rock bottom by 2019, space boffins believe we could be heading for another big chill.