Watts Up With That?

…the predicted size makes this the smallest sunspot cycle in about 100 years

(Updated 2012/05/01)

From: http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/predict.shtml

The current prediction for Sunspot Cycle 24 gives a smoothed sunspot number maximum of about 60 in the Spring of 2013. We are currently over three years into Cycle 24. The current predicted size makes this the smallest sunspot cycle in about 100 years.

The prediction method has been slightly revised. The previous method found a fit for both the amplitude and the starting time of the cycle along with a weighted estimate of the amplitude from precursor predictions (polar fields and geomagnetic activity near cycle minimum). Recent work [see Hathaway Solar Physics; 273, 221 (2011)] indicates that the equatorward drift of the sunspot latitudes as seen in the Butterfly Diagram follows a standard path for all cycles provided the dates are taken relative to a starting time determined by…

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2 thoughts on “

  1. DJ May 2, 2012 / 8:40 pm

    Depending on how you count sunspots, it could be lower than a smoothed 60 if max is in 2013. NASA counts specs that would not have been counted 100 years ago. The northern hemisphere has already reversed polarity. I suspect that we will all be in for surprises as this is the first time we have been able to witness a grand minimum with modern technology. One thing is for sure; the sun is behaving strangely. We will learn a lot with advanced observations.

    • Russ May 2, 2012 / 9:08 pm


      Thanks for the comment and observation. I agree that we are in for some exciting observations over the next year. I agree, we are seeing spots now that would not be observed a 100 years ago.

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