Solar Science

A blog of solar physics

What goes around…

with 3 comments

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?

Nobody’s perfect.

Not even me.

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Written by John A

July 25, 2009 at 3:39 pm

Posted in Solar Cycle 24

Tagged with ,

3 Responses

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  1. In all fairness, Dr. Hathaway is probably a nervous wreck no matter what happens. His language, mannerisms, and flip flopping opinions are clearly the result of being continuously yanked in opposite directions by militant climate alarmists and skeptics. One sunspot appears and he is a hero to alarmists and villian to skeptics. The sunspot goes away, and suddenly its vice versa.

    I say, Kudos! At least Hathaway is weathering this storm for the greater good, which is helping rogue idealists at least somewhat come around to the idea that the sun might have some influence on our climate. Imagine that.

    So go easy on Dr. Hathaway. You wouldn’t want to be in his shoes…


    July 27, 2009 at 3:03 am

  2. […] on from my previous post noting the rotating back into view of the region formerly known as Sunspot 1024, we now have a […]

  3. […] on from my previous post noting the rotating back into view of the region formerly known as Sunspot 1024, we now have a […]

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