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Scientists have confirmed that the just ending low solar minimum had considerable influence in shrinking the Earth’s outer atmosphere. Key quote:
[The scientist] says the research indicates that the Sun could be going through a period of relatively low activity, similar to periods in the early 19th and 20th centuries. This could mean that solar output may remain at a low level for the near future. “If it is indeed similar to certain patterns in the past, then we expect to have low solar cycles for the next 10 to 30 years.”