NSO: Sunspot Cycle Is Stabilizing

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NSO: Sunspot Cycle Is Stabilizing

Post by bystander » Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:23 pm

Sunspot Cycle Is Stabilizing
National Solar Observatory | 2020 Sep 20

Today a consortium of solar science experts declared consensus on the next solar cycle. The cycle, which indicates the intensity and timing of the Sun’s activity, fluctuates every 11 years or so. The cycle is based on the number of sunspots visible on the Sun’s surface over time and changes due to the dynamic magnetic field.

“We came to a consensus that the next solar cycle will be very similar to the last one” explains Dr. Gordon Petrie ... “This is an interesting sign because it might just be the turnaround from the ever weaker solar cycles we have seen since the 1970s and a speculation of a new Maunder minimum when the Sun underwent 70 years, from 1645-1715, of much reduced sunspot activity. The new forecast implies an end to this trend.” ...
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MPS: Solar Cycle 25 Has Begun

Post by bystander » Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:35 pm

Solar Cycle 25 Has Begun
Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research | 2020 Sep 15

Since December 2019, solar activity has been on the up. This is consistent with predictions, to which MPS researchers contributed.

In the past one and a half years, the Sun has been rather dull: hardly a sunspot covered its surface, hardly a solar flare hurled radiation and particles into space. As observational data now show, for the last nine months solar activity has been slowly picking up again. Already in December 2019, our star passed its activity minimum, an event which occurs approximately every eleven years. This confirms predictions made by the Solar Cycle 25 Prediction Panel, an international panel of experts organized by NASA and NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), in March last year. The panel, whose members include Dr. Robert Cameron from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) in Germany, expects the Sun to be as tame in the now beginning solar cycle 25 as it has been in the previous eleven years.

For more than 30 years, NASA and NOAA regularly invite international experts to predict the solar activity of the next few years. This is not an easy task, since our star’s behavior is characterized by a peculiar interplay of reliability and capriciousness. Phases of high and low solar activity alternate in an astonishingly regular rhythm: approximately eleven years lie between two activity minima. At the same time, some properties of solar cycles such as their strength and exact duration can vary and do not seem to obey a long-term rule.

The most recent solar cycle prediction from March 2019 has now passed its first test and correctly foreseen the start of the next cycle, the 25th since the beginning of reliable solar observations, as NASA and NOAA announce today. The Solar Cycle 25 Prediction Panel had located this point in time between November 2019 and October 2020. Measurements from research satellites in recent months now show that solar activity has indeed been increasing again since December 2019. ...

Solar Cycle 25 Is Here. NASA, NOAA
Scientists Explain What That Means

NASA | NOAA | 2020 Sep 15

Hello Solar Cycle 25
National Weather Service | NOAA | 2020 Sep 15
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
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GSFC: How to Track the Solar Cycle

Post by bystander » Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:14 pm

How Scientists around the World Track the Solar Cycle
NASA | GSFC | 2020 Sep 15
Click to play embedded YouTube video.
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GSFC: What Will Solar Cycle 25 Look Like?

Post by bystander » Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:09 pm

What Will Solar Cycle 25 Look Like?
NASA | GSFC | 2020 Sep 17
Click to play embedded YouTube video.
The Sun is stirring from its latest slumber. As sunspots and flares, signs of a new solar cycle, bubble from the Sun’s surface, scientists wonder what this next cycle will look like. The short answer is, probably a lot like the last — that is, the past 11 years of the Sun’s life, since that’s the average length of any given cycle. But the longer story involves a panel of experts that meets once a decade, a fleet of Sun-studying satellites, and dozens of complicated models — all revolving around efforts to understand the mystifying behavior of the star we live with.

NASA scientists study and model the Sun to better understand what it does and why. The Sun has its ups and downs and cycles between them regularly. Roughly every 11 years, at the height of this cycle, the Sun’s magnetic poles flip — on Earth, that’d be like if the North and South Poles swapped places every decade — and the Sun transitions from sluggish to active and stormy. At its quietest, the Sun is at solar minimum; during solar maximum, the Sun blazes with bright flares and solar eruptions.

Solar cycle predictions give a rough idea of what we can expect in terms of space weather, the conditions in space that change much like weather on Earth. Outbursts from the Sun can lead to a range of effects, from ethereal aurora to satellite orbital decay, and disruptions to radio communications or the power grid. NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center is the U.S. government’s official source for space weather forecasts, watches, warnings, and alerts: With accurate predictions, we can prepare.

The work that researchers at NASA and around the world do to advance our solar activity models helps improve those forecasts. In turn, solar cycle forecasts give us a sense of how stormy the Sun will be over the next 11 years and how much radiation spacecraft and astronauts may face during heavy bouts of solar activity. ...
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor