The earth is affected by different types of solar activities, such as solar flares and sunspots.
Sunspots are the relatively cool, dark spots appearing periodically in groups on the surface of the sun.
Solar flares are storms or eruptions of hot gases from the surface of the sun, accompanied by a burst of ultraviolet radiation.
Scientists are studying the impact of solar cycles on the earthâ€™s climate. Some scientists believe that the mini Ice Age that occurred in Europe between 1645 and 1715 happened when the sun was going through a period of solar minimum, with no sunspots.
The sun goes through roughly 11-year-long periodic variations in the frequency or number of sunspots, solar flares, and other solar activity. In this period, the sun goes through two extreme periodsâ€”the solar maximum and the solar minimum.
During a solar maximum, the sun has the maximum number of sunspots and solar flares. It gives off more energy, and hence the earth warms up.
During a solar minimum, the sun has fewer sunspots and fewer solar flares. It gives off less energy, and hence the earth cools down.