Solar Cycle 24 Predictions

Posted January 16, 2011 by User 1


The sun goes through cycles of activity levels every 11 or so years. Tracking the number of sunspots over a long duration of time will show the pattern of ups and downs. The current cycle, solar cycle 24 was originally predicted a few years ago to be peaking right now. So far, it has just barely begun.

Since that initial prediction, the forecast has been updated a good number of times to the point of bringing a "super-cycle" peaking at over 150 sunspots down to the weakest cycle in decades at just 70 spots at peak. The last update to the prediction was back in October, 2010. Already, the actual data are diverging from prediction with a slower than expected rate of sunspot increase.

As evidenced by solar cycle 24, the sun is notoriously difficult to predict. More likely than not, there will be a lot more than just one update to prediction of this cycle. For all we know, it could turn out to be the "super-cycle" it was originally forecast to be.

See the latest predictions and data by David Hathaway of NASA: http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/images/ssn_predict_l.gif


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