Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Paging Arnold Schwarzenegger…

Photo: Scott McIntosh via Twitter @swmcintosh
"The Terminator" has arrived on the Sun, giving another notch in the belt to the two solar scientists who have been predicting that Cycle 25 "could have a magnitude that rivals the top few since record-keeping began." reports that Drs. Scott McIntosh and Bob Leamon say that the "termination event" they have been predicting has occurred, marking the complete end of Cycle 24 and allowing Cycle 25 to move ahead without interference from remnants of the old cycle. "Solar Cycle 24 was cramping Solar Cycle 25's style," Leamon told Spaceweather. 

According to McIntosh and Leamon, the termination event occurred in December 2021, two years after the start of Cycle 25 but more importantly, just a little less than 11 years after the previous terminator event in February 2011. The researchers say these events range in time from 10 to 15 years, and that shorter durations, such as this one, indicate that the new sunspot cycle will be stronger than average. The "official" forecast for Cycle 25 predicts a relatively weak cycle, similar to the just-concluded Cycle 24. McIntosh and Leamon think it will be much stronger and early activity suggests that the sunspot numbers are tracking closer to their predictions than to the "official" one.