Articles in Solar Cycle 24
Well, it will be the weakest solar cycle in more than 50 years if it doesn’t pull off a double peak. Look at this graph to see how weak it has been compared to the last solar maximum:
Solar cycles vary between 10 and 13 years, so cycle 24 should definitely be peaking right now. The previous peaks of 1989 and 2001 were doubles. So, unless we have a lopsided double-peak, it is either a weak double-peak or it has already peaked and that’s all folks.
I’m certainly not disappointed, but the only three 2012 doom’n’gloom experts who had some degree of respectability (myself, Geryl and Joesph) all nominated the Sun as the most likely cause of harm.
The current solar cycle was predicted by NASA etc to peak in late 2012, or early 2013. So far it has actually been very quiet. There are two possibilities as to where we are at in the cycle:
1. It actually peaked, albeit very weakly, back in 2011
2. It is going to have a double peak, with 2011 and mid/late 2013
The second possibility would not be terribly surprising, for the last two cycles ended with a double peak.
Pesnell notes yet another complication: “The last two solar maxima, around 1989 and 2001, had not one but two peaks.” Solar activity went up, dipped, then resumed, performing a mini-cycle that lasted about two years.
The same thing could be happening now. Sunspot counts jumped in 2011, dipped in 2012, and Pesnell expects them to rebound again in 2013.
Pesnell is a leading member of the NOAA/NASA Solar Cycle Prediction Panel, a blue-ribbon group of solar …
I said this a few days ago:
If sunspot AR1654 sends an X-flare our way, it will still most likely be one of the hundreds per century that do us and our satellites no harm at all. But because it is a large sunspot, pointing our way soon, then the potential for the next Carrington Event is there.
That hasn’t changed, but the relative threat of this particular sunspot has got worse. SpaceWeather.com say:
An X-flare could be in the offing. The magnetic field of big sunspot AR1654 is growing more complex. It is now classified as a ‘beta-gamma-delta’ magnetic field, which means it harbors energy for X-class eruptions. Any explosion today would be Earth-directed.
AR1654 is getting bigger as it turns toward Earth. Not only is the chance of flares increasing, but also the chance of an Earth-directed eruption.This could be the sunspot that breaks the recent lengthy spell of calm space weather around our planet.
It is all about potential. While a killer solar storm could catch us unawares in the quietest part of the solar cycle, the odds of it happening greatly increase:
at the height of the solar cycle (more sunspots to erupt)
from clusters of sunspots
from large sunspots
If sunspot AR1654 sends an X-flare our way, it will still most likely be one of the hundreds per century that do us and our satellites no harm at all. But because it is a large sunspot, pointing our way soon, then the potential for the next Carrington Event is there. While scientists say that the odds are something like 8% (or much less) per solar cycle …
Considering all the attention paid to Dec 21, 2012, it is almost ironic the lack of natural disasters. There hasn’t been a major earthquake in many weeks, and looks like the solar cycle has had an early and very weak peak.
Or, is now the time to start fearing the worst?
Tsunami warning after 7.5 quake strikes off Alaska
CHANCE OF FLARES: Sunspot AR1640 has developed a ‘beta-gamma-delta’ magnetic field that harbors energy for X-class solar flares.
It is almost ironic, and there’s a tiny part of me wondering if the ancient Maya predicted Dec 21, 2012 as the most un-eventful date to give us.
Yes, there are some winter storms in the USA/Europe. But these aren’t exactly unexpected. What is unusual is the lack of:
earthquakes – according to the USGS this is a list of the significant earthquakes of the last 4 months- have any reached your preferred news service?
Magnitude 6.8 VANUATU December 21, 2012
Magnitude 7.1 BANDA SEA December 10, 2012
Magnitude 6.3 NORTH ISLAND OF NEW ZEALAND December 07, 2012
Magnitude 7.3 OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN December 07, 2012
Magnitude 6.4 KURIL ISLANDS November 16, 2012
Magnitude 6.5 OFFSHORE GUATEMALA November 11, 2012
Magnitude 6.8 MYANMAR November 11, 2012
Magnitude 4.3 EASTERN KENTUCKY November 10, 2012
Magnitude 7.4 OFFSHORE GUATEMALA November 07, 2012
Magnitude 7.7 QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLANDS REGION October 28, 2012
Magnitude 6.5 COSTA RICA October 24, 2012
Magnitude 5.3 CENTRAL CALIFORNIA …
The famously predicted “earth changes” could finally be in effect. As of now the various natural disasters could just be a statistical blip, but give us a few more (watch this week, and June 1 through July 1) and not only will many prophets appear spot on, but the world will start to panic – although I’m unsure of any short-term measurement for this, except for polling folk.
So if it continues, what is the cause??
a) Patrick Geryl suggests the Sun will be becoming increasingly erratic, leading to a crustal displacement in 2012.
b) The next solar maximum could be big, and increased flares and CMEs could cause all sorts of bother to our planet. Experts keep changing their minds over how big or small the next maximum will be…
c) I’ve noticed an increased in likelihood of events around full moons and especially eclipses. Gravity between the Sun, Moon and Earth cannot …
NASA is installing a network of smart cameras across the USA to track fireballs and meteoroids. Soon there will be 15, and then they plan to expand nationwide. These cameras are automated and linked together so that they can triangulate paths and orbits. If NASA was expecting an influx of fireballs (and alternative media outlets are suggesting this is already happening), such data could prove to be important. But it could just be that NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office is wanting to he more helpful when they get phone calls from the public. More info at PhysOrg, and the official NASA site has live and historical images from the cameras.
According to the website of Australia’s antidote to “energy drinks”, esc, if you are concerned about 2012, their drink will let you Escape into a zen state of mind!
The latest in a long line of solar cycle theories has just been published …
According to NASA, 2012 will be the big one for observing the Northern Lights. Scientists say that they “should at least be visible as far south as Rome.”
Icelandic photographer Orvar Thorgiersso says “By the year 2012 if you catch the moment the Sun is spewing out solar storms directly at the earth you will be truly awestruck. It will be like nothing you’ve ever seen before.”
And of course phones, GPS and the power grid could be affected. Perhaps we will just look up to sky and go “ah-ha, that’s why my phone isn’t working tonight”.
It wasn’t very long ago that we were being told to brace for, in 2012, the biggest solar maximum for some time. Now some scientists are predicting that it will be “the weakest since 1928“.
The panel now expects the sun’s activity will peak about a year late, in May 2013, when it will boast an average of 90 sunspots per day. That is below average for solar cycles, making the coming peak the weakest since 1928, when an average of 78 sunspots was seen daily.
So there’s nothing to worry about, except:
“The panel consensus is not my individual opinion,” says panel member Mausumi Dikpati of the High Altitude Observatory in Boulder, Colorado.
Dikpati and her colleagues have developed a solar model that predicts a bumper crop of sunspots and a cycle that is 30% to 50% stronger than the previous cycle, Cycle 23.
Such disparate predictions are similar to the global warming debate. …
On the left is a prediction by NASA scientist Dr. David Hathaway, from 2006, of the intensity of the next solar cycle, peaking in 2012.
On the right is his revised opinion – that it will less next time round, not more. The changes are quite dramatic:
Hathaway’s predicted Cycle 24 maximum in March 2006: 145Hathaway’s predicted Cycle 24 maximum in October 2008: 137Hathaway’s predicted Cycle 24 maximum in January 2009: 104
…and highlight how difficult it is to predict – basically because they know very little about how it all works. Don’t be surprised if the sunspot maximum is 200 or 50, or even zero.
His official solar prediction page is at NASA. I was alerted to it by WhatsUpWithThat.com.