Solar Science

A blog of solar physics

What shall we call the next minimum?

with 14 comments

Still absolutely no sign of Solar Cycle 24.


I wonder what we should call the next minimum in solar activity? The Hansen Minimum?


Written by John A

October 17, 2007 at 7:14 am

14 Responses

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  1. The Great Gretzky Minimum or The Zamboni Minimum. (I can’t think of a better way to honor both the Team and the onset of global cooling.)

    Harold Vance

    October 17, 2007 at 7:13 pm

  2. According to Space Daily, SC23 has ended and SC24 has begun.

    There seems to be conflicting information on this, can you clarify why and which is correct?

    Much appreciated.


    October 19, 2007 at 12:55 pm

  3. The NOAA Space Environment Center is not expecting SC24 to start until March 2008. Here is their press release from April 25, 2007:


    Here is a link to their SC24 Prediction page:

    “The official Solar Cycle 24 prediction is for Sunspot Number and begins March 2008.”

    This is the most current info from NOAA.

    See also the Solar Influences Data Center ( in Belgium. They refer back to NOAA’s prediction.

    Harold Vance

    October 19, 2007 at 5:41 pm

  4. DR if that was supposed to be the start of the new cycle all the way back in 2006, then someone turned the machine back off.

    As you can see, solar activity has fallen below any of the expected curves and the Sun is still blank. The only reason it can’t go any lower is that there’s no such thing as negative solar activity.

    I’m starting to think that when Solar Cycle 24 does finally arrive, it will be weak and the rise in activity will be much slower.

    John A

    October 19, 2007 at 10:00 pm

  5. I’m torn between “The Gore Minimum” vs “The MannBearPig Minimum!” Former VP Gores ability to speak at unseasonably cool venues of late, deserves memorializing.


    October 21, 2007 at 12:52 am

  6. RE 4:

    Yes, I’ve read Hathaway was hoping his micro dot sun spot was SC24.

    Here is another from Space Daily:

    Can SC23 be considered at minimum regardless of that news release? What’s the difference between “bottoming” and minimum, or is that article incorrect?



    October 21, 2007 at 4:46 am

  7. RE 4:

    Yes, I’ve read Hathaway was hoping his micro dot sun spot was SC24.

    Here is another from Space Daily:

    Can SC23 be considered at minimum regardless of that news release? What’s the difference between “bottoming” and minimum, or is that article conjecture?



    October 21, 2007 at 4:47 am

  8. Has anyone been following the solar wind stats? I am trying to find average monthly data similar to the sunspot data.

    It is my understanding that a solar cycle does not officially begin until the sun’s magnetic poles flip polarity. Thus cycle 23 is still in effect but has bottomed out. From my research of the last 3 solar cycles, once we have a monthly sunspot reading of less than 2, at that point we should see the new cycle start. October I believe will have an average monthly number of less than 1. Meaning November should begin the steady ramp up of monthly sunspot counts.


    October 24, 2007 at 8:43 pm

  9. Another simple way of comparing cycle minimums is to study the number of spotless days. Solaemon’s Spotless Days Page has a very comprehensive discussion of this topic:

    For instance, the first spotless day after solar maximum occurred in January 2004. Since that day, 46 months have elapsed and there is still no minimum at hand. This is an unusually long period (from first spotless day to minimum) compared to the last eight cycles, SC16-23. The average period for those cycles was 33 months with a standard deviation of +/- 5 months.

    Harold Vance

    October 26, 2007 at 4:09 pm

  10. Ok, help out a newbie please.

    SC24 has already begun?


    November 10, 2007 at 10:50 pm

  11. DR, no, SC24 has not begun.

    There have been no SC24 spots, and we appear to have not yet reached the solar minimum.

    Going by the data on the site you and Dan both linked to, it appears that we can expect many more spotless days to accumulate before SC24 gets underway.


    November 22, 2007 at 4:11 pm

  12. If the minimum is significantly low, resulting in a cooling of global temperatures, I think it should be called the Gore Minimum. Appropriate accolades to our most recent Nobel winner.


    December 1, 2007 at 6:54 pm

  13. Following up on the previous post, I would suggest we call it the AlGorian/milli-vanillian-(give back the award)-minimum.


    December 11, 2007 at 9:00 pm

  14. Interesting article on current solar minimum

    (Albiet from a pro-CO2/GW proponant)


    December 11, 2007 at 9:05 pm

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