Thursday, January 2, 2014

Solar Scientists: Cycle 24 Weakest in a Century

NASA Image
The current solar cycle is the weakest of the past ten cycles, according to four solar scientists reporting on "space weather" at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union. The ARRL Letter reports that the four -- Nat Gopalswamy and Martin Mlynczak of NASA, Stanford's Leif Svalgaard and Joe Giacolone of the University of Arizona - say a weak polar magnetic field during Cycle 23 is thought to be the mechanism behind the weakness of Cycle 24. By continuing to track the polar magnetic field, said Svalgaard, it should be possible within a few years to predict the robustness (or lack of robustness) of Cycle 25. The group did not directly address the impact of the current weak cycle on radio propagation.