I just came across this rather nifty little tool via fellow Twitterer TaviGreiner, and I really like it. It’s yet another wish-I’d-thought-of-that moments. You input your date of birth, and a sunspot number chart appears, displaying the solar activity on your birthday…
Check out Space Weather’s Sunspot Plotter.
I’m not a believer in astrology, to be honest I don’t think it really matters which constellation I was born under (Leo, in case you were wondering. *Rawr*), but if I did subscribe to astrology, I’d be more interested in what stage of the solar cycle I was born. Although it doesn’t make a blind bit of difference when in the solar cycle a creature on Earth is born, the Sun has by far the greatest influence over our local volume of space. It does make you wonder, if we do eventually colonize Mars, will the solar cycle have an influence over the characteristics of human birth? What with the thin atmosphere and lack of a strong magnetic field, space weather will be a huge factor on a Red Planet society, perhaps knowing what part of the solar cycle you were born under would be more relevant?
SpaceWeather.com has a few humorous words about the relavence of solar cycle over everyday life:
The red curve traces monthly-averaged sunspot numbers tabulated by the Solar Influences Data Center in Belgium. Data points go all the way back to 1755, so you can investigate the relationship between solar activity and many historical events: Do stocks crash during solar minimum? (Some people think so.) Did NASA send astronauts to the Moon during Solar Max? How do sunspots affect the length of mini-skirts?
It seems that the mini-skirt is strangely absent from fashion these days, the Sun had better get into gear and get active again! You can’t beat a good mini-skirt.
Of course, the Sun affects us in many ways. Probably one of the more obvious effects of an increase in solar activity is the production of coronal mass ejections, interacting with our magnetosphere, generating auroral electrojets, possibly overloading power grids (i.e. the Quebec blackout in 1989). But as for it having any effect on the day that you were born (keeping in mind we are shielded from the worst the Sun can throw at us), I’m not so sure.
That said, I was born around the solar maximum of the late ’70’s to the early ’80’s… does that mean I have a fiery temper? Nope.