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Fossilized forest reveals sunspot activity 290 million years ago

Scientists can determine past changes in the sun’s magnetic field by analyzing tree rings. Now German scientists have shown that tree rings in petrified trunks from fossilized forests can be used to reveal dat about the sun’s cycles from eons ago. Data obtained from the petrified forest of Chemnitz, which was  buried by a volcanic erruption 290 million years ago, showed tree ring growth patterns similar to those caused by modern sunspot activity. Below is an artist’s impression of what the Chemnitz forest looked like.

 

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