Thursday, August 12, 2021

Shifting Sands (??) on the Sun

(NASA satellite image)
Just as there have been disagreements among predictions for the strength and length of Solar Cycle 25, there are also disagreements about the significance of recent trends. In early August, reported that the cycle was "heating up faster than expected," based on July's sunspot counts, and said that if the trend continues, it could mean that we reach solar maximum in October 2024, a year ahead of the "official" forecast from the NOAA/NASA Solar Cycle Prediction Panel. 

That panel predicted that Cycle 25 would be very similar to the very weak Cycle 24, but a sharper rise could suggest a stronger cycle to come. On the other hand, the Solar Terrestrial Activity Report ( suggests that so far, Cycle 25 is very closely tracking Cycle 24, as predicted by the NOAA/NASA panel. See <>.