What goes around…
It looks as though the active region formerly known as Sunspot 1024 is still active and will be rotating back into view in the next few days.
Here’s the region as pictured by the Stereo satellites which give a view of some of the solar farside. The active region is the bright area at about 7.30 on this image:
and here is the SOHO view which is close to what is almost the terrestrial view of the Sun. The active region is the bright area on the lower left edge of the photosphere.
Apart from this one region, there’s nothing else to report. I’m going to be checking the solar flux to see whether there is any change, but I’m not optimistic.
Meanwhile Dr David Hathaway has popped up in the New York Times saying that contrary to his previous forecasts, a Dalton Minimum-like weak sunspot cycle (ramping up to only 50-70)
For example, in 2006, Dr. Hathaway looked at disturbances in the Earth’s magnetic field that are caused by the Sun, and they were strong. During past cycles, strong disturbances at minimum indicated strong fields all over the Sun at maximum and a bounty of sunspots. Because the previous cycles had been shorter than average, Dr. Hathaway thought the next one would be shorter and thus solar minimum was imminent. He predicted the new solar cycle would be a ferocious one, consistent with a short cycle.
Instead, the new cycle did not arrive as quickly as Dr. Hathaway anticipated, and the disturbances weakened. His revised prediction is for a smaller-than-average maximum. Last November, it looked like the new cycle was finally getting started, with the new cycle sunspots in the middle latitudes outnumbering the old sunspots of the dying cycle that are closer to the equator.
After a minimum, solar activity usually takes off quickly, but instead the Sun returned to slumber. “There was a long lull of several months of virtually no activity, which had me worried,” Dr. Hathaway said.
Worried? Why? Because your previous forecasts were flat out wrong?
Not even me.
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