Tuesday, July 9, 2019

NASA: Expect a Weak Cycle 25

NASA's Solar Weather Prediction Center is forecasting that
Cycle 25 will be another weak cycle, similar to the now-
ending Cycle 24. (Image from SWPC website)
Good news, bad news, on the sunspot front. Spaceweather.com reported that a small group of sunspots associated with forthcoming Cycle 25 appeared July 1 in the Sun's southern hemisphere, only to disappear again a few hours later. This is the fifth observation of sunspots bearing the magnetic signature of the new cycle.

Meanwhile, the South African Radio League reports that NASA researchers are predicting that Cycle 25 will be the weakest cycle in the past 200 years, with only 30-50% of the number of sunspots recorded in Cycle 24. This prediction is consistent with a paper recently published by nature.com, predicting that the Sun is about to enter a "grand minimum" lasting until 2055 (see more about this paper in the August issue of CQ).