Solar Science

A blog of solar physics

Solar Cycle 24 finally arrives

with 2 comments

Not a speck. Not a low latitude could-be-a-SC23 spot.

The real deal.

Sun on 13-10-2008 showing SC24 spot

Sun on 13-10-2008 showing SC24 spot

The polarity is definitely reversed from the previous cycle. Its a high latitude spot. The companion spot is reverse polarity to the main spot.

Looks good to me.

The STEREO image (allows us to look around the limb of the Sun and see what’s coming) suggest an even larger area of activity at about the same latitude.

Stereo Image 12-10-2008

Stereo Image 12-10-2008

Now we wait to see if the SC24 persists.

The magnetogram shows the SC24 polarity:

Magnetogram from 13-10-2008 showing SC24 polarity

Magnetogram from 13-10-2008 showing SC24 polarity

The solar magnetic field for September has just been published (as graphed by Anthony Watts) and shows the magnetic field to be at a historically low level, as NASA had already noted.


This may just prove to be the bottom of the Solar Cycle (yes, I’m sticking my neck out). Now we wait to see what happens next, because I’m not convinced that anyone really has a clue.


Written by John A

October 11, 2008 at 11:16 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Predictions – especially those in the future – is really difficult! Just an observation from an engineer with interest in the sun and how it might effect the future climate, economy and communications.

    It would be great to see a historical database that would put sunspots and all the other “fuzzy” historical data together.

    I have been watching for the solar minimum with great interest. It just appears to me over the last 18 months, that those who predict global warming kept making excuses for the sun’s current cycle being “late”. Another camp brings up ice core drillings, historical averages of grain prices, tree rings, and even an old (retired this year) NASA physicist weatherman that produces the Farmers Almanac. The MIT graduate for the Farmer’s Almanac this year discussed his “black box” method of weather prediction and indicated that the sun’s cycles play a major role.

    Of the two camps, it now appears that the latter of the two camps correctly predicted this model / cycle either by history, science or whatever.

    What bothers me the most is the lack of indexes to bring this all together for a predictive model. It seems that each camp (the volcano’s did it, automobiles did it, ocean currents did it… ) has blinder on.

    For hundreds of years, there have been “fuzzy” records for solar observations. Granted, there are more factors than just the sun’s radiation that affect evaporation pool records, but they are well established records. Internet searches indicate that sunspot records go back over a thousand years. My guess is that a pin-hole in a temple dome might produce some type of tool that the Chinese and Egyptians could use and record. It appears that a dust-bowl in the American mid-west is a reoccurring cycle with a high probability of following the sunspots cycle.

    With all the brilliant minds out there, it seems hard to find a web site that can put all of these seemly unrelated events together.

    Keep up the good observations. It is truly amazing how little information and photos exist on the current solar minimum.


    October 27, 2008 at 12:28 am

  2. The real deal! That happened on 11 October I seem to recall. What’s happened since then? Unfortunately, no further postings to this blog, updating the photgraphs.

    I look forward to seeing another picture quite soon!


    October 29, 2008 at 9:42 pm

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