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2 Simultaneous Solar Cycles

TWO SOLAR CYCLES ARE ACTIVE AT THE SAME TIME:

Solar Minimum is here, and it is very deep. During this quiet nadir of solar activity, something happens that might surprise you: Two solar cycles become active at the same time. Recent shots of the surface displayed this counter-intuitive phenomenon:

Above: An extreme UV image of the sun with magnetic field maps inset. Credit: NASA/SDO

This image from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory shows two active regions on the sun–one north of the equator and once south. These are not sunspots. Instead, they are “hot spots” where magnetic fields have gathered with just enough intensity to bottle-up some glowing-hot plasma, but not quite enough strength to create a full-fledged sunspot.

The magnetic polarity of these two hot spots identifies them as members of different solar cycles (see: Hale’s Law). The southern hot spot comes from old Solar Cycle 24. The northern hot spot comes from new Solar Cycle 25. Adjacent solar cycles always overlap during Solar Minimum and, indeed, this is happening right now.

If forecasters are correct, Solar Cycle 25 will gain strength in the years ahead, ultimately dispatching old Solar Cycle 24. A new Solar Maximum comprised entirely of Solar Cycle 25 sunspots should arrive as early as 2023. Source of article on Solar Cycles: Spaceweather.com

(My comments) So look at the bright side gang. Cycle 24 may be approaching the end of it’s cycle, and Cycle 25 may just be starting up. There are two schools of thought, some suggesting Cycle 25 will be even weaker than 24, and others like the one by Solar physicist Dibyendu Nandi and his Ph.D .student Prantika Bhowmik, are suggesting 25 will be stronger. I’m betting on these guys !! ha ha Based on their model, they expect Cycle 25 to start rising around December of 2019 and peak in 2024. We shall see.

Meanwhile, let’s just hope the noise floor does not continue to rise !!! Ever try listening to your AM car radio these days ? The proliferation of poorly installed and maintained “Solar Farms” in my rural area, is wreaking havoc on reception. How about in your neck of the woods ?

posted by Kevin in From the Administrator,General Ham Radio News and have No Comments

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