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Solar and Aurora Activity Chat


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Just a few pics from early this morning at West Sands, St. Andrews  First one was 100iso eq @ f1.8 and 10 sec exposure, strong moonlight about midnight with the faintest of hint of an aurora.

From Salon on the Isle Of Rum & The Isle Of Lewis tonight. Credit; Martin Keivers and Emma Mitchell.  

More shots here from Scotland last night. Fingers crossed again tonight as there is another predicted Kp7 ☺

Posted Images

10 minutes ago, SteveB said:

Yep, I suspect we are now in a period where spots are more frequent than blank days.

What the feeling on next years spotless count? 

It would not surprise me if it was between 50 and 100. I think we are seeing a rapid switch fom minimum conditions although at this time activity remains very low I mean by this the sunspot number being between 11 and 20 although we have seen some days above this recently

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2 hours ago, jonboy said:

It would not surprise me if it was between 50 and 100. I think we are seeing a rapid switch fom minimum conditions although at this time activity remains very low I mean by this the sunspot number being between 11 and 20 although we have seen some days above this recently

I think 100 will to high, more nearer the 50 or below. 

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On 18/11/2020 at 10:02, SteveB said:

Yep, I suspect we are now in a period where spots are more frequent than blank days.

What the feeling on next years spotless count? 

Less than 10 - last minimum feel away very quickly and I think this will also 

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On 20/11/2020 at 19:27, Stu_London said:

Less than 10 - last minimum feel away very quickly and I think this will also 

Au contraire.... solar activity took a very long time to properly ramp up after the 23/24 minimum.

Solar flux was still only peaking around the 90 mark in late 2010 - two years after the minimum - before finally ramping up a bit in the first half of 2011. It would be the 26th month (Feb 2011) after minimum before tonight's value of 100 would be reached.

At the moment we are in month 13 of the new cycle.

At the same stage - late in the second year after solar min, C23 was peaking in the 130-140s and C22 was nearing 200!

How big will this cycle be? Most forecasts are for a similar peak to Cycle 24, there are a couple including NASA predicting a very low cycle, lower than last time, there is another predicting a high one, bigger than 23 and perhaps nearly as large as Cycle 21 and 22, but that is a bit of an outlier!  I think that is unlikely at this stage.

One method of forecasting maxima is taking the strength of the solar polar magnetic fields at minimum.. this was pretty accurate for the last four cycles, so for me, the prediction of a similar size to C24, perhaps slightly (maybe 5-10%) bigger  is going to be closest to the mark.

It's very early days for this cycle yet, but we do seem to be, in the short term, ramping up quicker than last time, and certainly more than I was expecting.

This evening, WWV are reporting a solar flux of 100 as some fairly active regions rotate into view, and there are a couple more interesting looking regions about 3-4 days from rotating into view.

*If* we are to exceed the last cycle by a considerable margin as per the outlier forecast mentioned above, we would probably need to see the solar flux routinely exceed 100 on peaks during the coming months up to , say, June.. time will tell whether the current ramp-up is a bit of an early freak (with activity dropping back (and sfu stuck in the 70s / a reasonable no. of spotless days  for an extended period), or a real sign of some early precociousness from the new Cycle...

We shall see!

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On 24/11/2020 at 23:01, Uncle_Barty said:

Au contraire.... solar activity took a very long time to properly ramp up after the 23/24 minimum.

Solar flux was still only peaking around the 90 mark in late 2010 - two years after the minimum - before finally ramping up a bit in the first half of 2011. It would be the 26th month (Feb 2011) after minimum before tonight's value of 100 would be reached.

 

 

Agree 24 did take longer time wise to get going and although a weak cycle, generally speaking once it was up and running there were very few spotless days

25 is starting to feel like we are at that point - so I am not expecting many more spotless days - but I could be wrong

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1 hour ago, Stu_London said:

Agree 24 did take longer time wise to get going and although a weak cycle, generally speaking once it was up and running there were very few spotless days

25 is starting to feel like we are at that point - so I am not expecting many more spotless days - but I could be wrong

Number of spotless days by year:

2019 total: 228 days (75%) (up to October '19)
2018 total: 221 days (61%)
2017 total: 104 days (28%)
2016 total: 32 days (9%)
2015 total: 0 days (0%)
2014 total: 1 day (<1%)
2013 total: 0 days (0%)
2012 total: 0 days (0%)
2011 total: 2 days (<1%)
2010 total: 51 days (14%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
2008 total: 268 days (73%)

So yes, once things kicked off a bit more in early 2011, the spotless days stopped. 2010 comprised the 2nd year of Cycle 24, yet still had 51 spotless days. It remains to be seen if 2021 will have that many - early signs are that it probably won't, but who knows?!

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