We know so little and understand even less.
But if we get a majority consensus, truth does not matter.
STUDY: Sun may determine lifespan at birth...
Could the Sun be your lucky -- or unlucky -- star?
In an unusual study published Wednesday, Norwegian scientists said people born during periods of solar calm may live longer
, as much as five years on average, than those who enter the world when the Sun is feisty.
The lifespan of those born in periods of solar maximum -- interludes marked by powerful flares and geomagnetic storms -- was "5.2 years shorter" on average than those born during a solar minimum, they found.
It was not clear whether the same would necessarily hold true for people born in the modern era.
Cause & effect, or something else? Theories abound.
Solar activity is also linked to levels of ultraviolet radiation-- an environmental stressor known to affect survival and reproductive performance, possibly by causing cell and DNA damage, according to the study authors.
There was a stronger effect on girls than boys, it said.
- Fertility reduced -
On top of lifespan, being born in a solar maximum period also "significantly reduced" fertility for women born into the poor category, but not for wealthier women or for men, said the authors.
One explanation could be ultraviolet-induced degradation of the B vitamin folate, a shortage of which before birth has been linked to higher rates of illness and death, the team theorised.
"Our findings suggest that maternal exposure to solar activity during gestation can affect the fitness of female children," the authors wrote.
"The effect of socio-economic status on the relationship between solar activity and fertility suggests that high-status pregnant women were better able to avoid the adverse effects of high solar activity" -- possibly by staying out of the Sun or because a healthier diet curbed the harm.
In another sun story:
NOAA warns of strong geomagnetic storm hitting northern hemisphere...
Solar Cycle 24 is still one of the weakest in 40~ years.
Edited by Rogerdodger, 07 January 2015 - 06:19 PM.