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Flares, Fears, and Forecasts: Public Misconceptions About the Sunspot Cycle

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Kristine Larsen
Physics and Earth Sciences, Central Connecticut State University, 1615 Stanley Street, New Britain, CT 06053

Presented at the 100th Annual Meeting of the AAVSO, October 8, 2011; received December 28, 2011; revised February 22, 2012; accepted February 24, 2012

Abstract

Among the disaster scenarios perpetrated by 2012 apocalypse aficionados is the destruction of humankind due to solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs). These scenarios reflect common misconceptions regarding the solar cycle. This paper (based on an annual meeting poster) sheds light on those misconceptions and how the AAVSO Solar Section can address them.

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