Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Still spotless

Solar activity seems to be taking it's own sweet time getting cycle 24 running. We're getting the odd sunspot, or should I say sunspeck they're so small, but at the moment of writing there's been little activity. As far as I'm concerned, this is just a glitch in the normal run of things. Could be wrong of course, but at least I've got some extra warm clothing for Winter this year.

Of course some pundits are coming out of the woodwork saying that this is the beginning of a new Ice age, but I'm not buying into that. Didn't happen in the 70's, which was the last time there was a panic of this nature. It got cold and wet for a few winters, but not that much.

Sunspot activity is not the only indicator of solar activity, there are coronal holes, flares etc. Regrettably there's been a 'CCD Bakeout' marker on the SOHO solar observatory site since 8th August, indicating that one or several of the onboard sensors are inoperative, so monitoring solar activity minus your own observatory is getting a bit tiresome.

Looking on the bright side, one good thing about all the pundits screaming that we have to 'do something' about the continuing non-event of climate change / global warming is that Winter clothing often gets more heavily discounted because no one believes they'll need it and are so not buying so much. For example, I recently bought a seven hundred dollar leather coat for one hundred and eighty bucks, a good hundred dollar leather hat for fifty five dollars. Insulated hundred and forty dollar Winter boots for sixty dollars. Three hundred bucks (Around a hundred and fifty pounds sterling or two hundred and twenty euro's) including tax has seen me obtain kit which will shrug off sub zero cold with ease. I have a kerosene lamp and gas stove for when snow brings down the power lines like it did last year, so we're prepared for whatever eventuality. Am I worried? Not really.

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