Hunters in the snow

Hunters in the snow

. This section of a painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder depicts a time when the average temperatures in Northern Europe were much colder than they are today. Severe cold occurred during the Maunder Minimum, from 1645 to 1715, when there was a conspicuous absence of sunspots and other signs of solar activity. This picture was painted in 1565, near the end of another dearth of sunspots, called the Spörer Minimum. (Courtesy of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.)

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University