Are we headed for a deep solar minimum?

Pull Quote: “What’s in store for Cycle #25? One thing’s for certain: if the current trend continues, with spotless days more the rule than the exception, we could be in for a deep profound solar minimum through the 2018 to 2020 season, the likes of which would be unprecedented in modern astronomy.”

Watts Up With That?

Have you been keeping an eye on Sol lately? One of the top astronomy stories for 2018 may be what’s not happening, and how inactive our host star has become.

The strange tale of Solar Cycle #24 is ending with an expected whimper: as of May 8th, the Earthward face of the Sun had been spotless for 73 out of 128 days thus far for 2018, or more than 57% of the time. This wasn’t entirely unexpected, as the solar minimum between solar cycle #23 and #24 saw 260 spotless days in 2009 – the most recorded in a single year since 1913.

Cycle #24 got off to a late and sputtering start, and though it produced some whopper sunspots reminiscent of the Sol we knew and loved on 20th century cycles past, it was a chronic under-performer overall. Mid-2018 may see the end of cycle #24 and the…

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3 thoughts on “Are we headed for a deep solar minimum?

  1. Lucille Hino June 14, 2018 / 9:45 am

    There is data from Fermi lab gamma ray studies on uptick in cosmic radiation, from ice core samples and carbon isotope/beryllium analysis, during Maunder minimum. Especially concerning is ESA SWARM satellite image of weak spot in magnetosphere, along with NASA image of plasma bands, probably related to movement of magnetic poles

    • Russ Steele June 14, 2018 / 9:56 pm

      Lucille, can you provide a link to a study of increases in carbon isotope/beryllium analysis, during Maunder minimum? I find this an interesting idea to explore some more.

  2. Gabriel July 17, 2018 / 5:13 pm

    Warning: From Spaceweather.com :
    ‘THREE WEEKS WITHOUT SUNSPOTS: The sun has been blank for 21 straight days–a remarkable 3 weeks without sunspots. This is an almost decade-class event. The last time the sun lost its spots for 21 consecutive days was in the year 2009 coming on the heels of an historic solar minimum. With the current stretch of blank suns, solar minimum conditions have definitely returned. Visit today’s edition of Spaceweather.com to learn more about solar minimum and find out what it means to us on Earth’.
    https://mailchi.mp/spaceweather/three-weeks-without-sunspots

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