J.I. AS101 Reading Question Chapter 14 #17 6/25/07 17. What is the sunspot cycle? Describe how the changes that occur during the cycle, including magnetic field reversals at each solar minimum. Are there any longer-term changes that occur in solar activity? The sunspot cycle is the shifting in sunspot activity from numerous amounts on the surface to a smaller amount. This cycle has been measured between maximums between 7 and 15 years with an average of 11 years per cycle. There is a time of solar maximum and solar minimum which is the amount of sunspots seen on the surface. One trend observed in the max and min periods is the location of the sunspots. During solar maximum there are fewer sunspots seen around the equator, they are more spread out in the higher and lower latitudes. During solar minimum the sunspots are more clumped around closer to the equator. A side effect of the change in sunspot activity is that the magnetic field of the Sun completely flips upside down. After a complete 11-year sunspot cycle the magnetic north
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