With its dazzling fan of colorful feathers, the peacock is the prima donna of domestic birds. Strutting about the yard, it demands attention, its iridescent feathers shining in the sun. “It’s like having a walking flower garden.”
It all began with an Old English myth claiming that earwigs intentionally crawl into people’s ears while their sleeping, then bore into their brains, causing excruciating pain and insanity as they lay eggs.
W. Dean Pesnell, project scientist of NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, explained that the sun goes through 11-year cycles of high to low activity. During times of decreased activity known as the solar minimum, sunspots — fleeting cool patches on the sun that are caused by changes in its magnetic field — and solar flare activity diminishes.