View Full Version : Solar Minimum??

2008-Sep-15, 06:42 PM
basic question....... Are we still at solar minimum?? I go to www.spaceweather.com most days and have a look at what our closest star is up to but I have not seen a sun spot in a long old time. I'm pretty sure we are past minimum now????? Minimum was 2006 wasnt it??

2008-Sep-15, 07:14 PM
According to NASA’s David Hathaway a solar minimum can be two to four years and there is nothing unusual going on. He also is sticking by his prediction that solar cycle #24 will be bigger than cycle #23.

See: http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2008/11jul_solarcycleupdate.htm


2008-Sep-15, 07:31 PM
Thanks buddy!!

2009-Jan-26, 11:30 PM
Yes, and it is now beginning to look somewhat unusual (as of January 2009).

The models for the sunspot cycle indicate that we should now be just starting on the rising phase of the cycle, but thus far the absence of activity observed at the expected time for the "bottom" of solar minimum (roughly in early 2008) are still present and apparantly there is very little change from those conditions even now - nearly a year later. Additionally, the only substantial active region (highly magnetised regions associated with sunspots) seen thus far actually carried the magnetic signatures from the previous solar cycle.

Check this link: http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/SolarCycle/

It still maybe that for whatever reason, solar cycle 24 is running a little late and activity could start to pick up again at any time. However as the months tick by and the separation between the predictions and the actual observed activity grow (as it will do the further into 2009 we get, provided there is still no change in activity) then it does indicate that something unusual *may* be happening. Time will tell at this point but people are now starting to take this a bit more seriously. I wouldn't place any bets just yet, but then again I tend to err on the side of caution.


p.s. Explanations for graph in URL,

the red lines indicate the upper and lower predicted boundaries for sunspot number with time in the solar cycle, and as can be seen at the moment, the actual observed sunspot number is below the lower prediction boundary. Also the latest data point (as of 26/01/09) has not yet been added but will essentially show the same sunspot number as for the last data point as the complete dearth of any significant activity has continued throughout January 2009 (the graph was last updated on the 3rd. Jan - so about a month ago and the next point should be due soon)

the same format for the redlines is followed for the radio flux graph, and this at least looks a bit more normal however the current observations of radio flux to date do seem rather to be following the lower bound.