Monday, May 12, 2014

K9LA: "Grand Solar Minimum" May Be Starting

CQ Plus Propagation Editor Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA, told a webinar in late April that evidence is suggesting that we may be entering a "grand solar minimum," or extended period of low sunspot activity. But he says he is not convinced that we're heading for another "Maunder minimum," a 70-year period of few or no sunspots in the late 17th and early 18th centuries.

(NASA Photo)
According to the ARRL Letter, Luetzelschwab told a webinar sponsored by the World Wide Radio Operators Foundation that "It sure looks like something inside the sun changed around the peak of Cycle 23," and that several weak cycles may lie ahead. However, he noted that many factors are involved in forecasting future solar activity and its impact on radio propagation, adding that "we need to gather some really good data" over the next decade to get a better picture of what may lie ahead.