A Rather Quiet Solar Maximum … For Now

2013 was supposed to be the year of Solar Max, the peak of the 11-year sunspot cycle. But so far, solar activity has been fairly low, with sunspot numbers well below expectations as well as infrequent solar flares.

Back in 2008, the NOAA/NASA Solar Cycle Prediction Panel, said that due to the extrememly deep and quite solar minimum going on at that time, they anticipated Solar Cycle 24 – our current cycle – to be below average in intensity. They’ve certainly been right about that.

In this video, solar physicist Dean Pesnell of the Goddard Space Flight Center says that this solar max looks different from what we expected because it may end up being “double peaked.”

This video shows the low amount of sunspots so far in 2013:

Read more at Science@NASA
.

Nancy Atkinson

Nancy has been with Universe Today since 2004, and has published over 6,000 articles on space exploration, astronomy, science and technology. She is the author of two books: "Eight Years to the Moon: the History of the Apollo Missions," (2019) which shares the stories of 60 engineers and scientists who worked behind the scenes to make landing on the Moon possible; and "Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos" (2016) tells the stories of those who work on NASA's robotic missions to explore the Solar System and beyond. Follow Nancy on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Nancy_A and and Instagram at and https://www.instagram.com/nancyatkinson_ut/

Recent Posts

Fish Could Turn Regolith into Fertile Soil on Mars

What a wonderful arguably simple solution. Here’s the problem, we travel to Mars but how…

1 day ago

New Simulation Explains how Supermassive Black Holes Grew so Quickly

One of the main scientific objectives of next-generation observatories (like the James Webb Space Telescope)…

1 day ago

Don't Get Your Hopes Up for Finding Liquid Water on Mars

In the coming decades, NASA and China intend to send the first crewed missions to…

2 days ago

Webb is an Amazing Supernova Hunter

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has just increased the number of known distant supernovae…

2 days ago

Echoes of Flares from the Milky Way’s Supermassive Black Hole

The supermassive black hole at the heart of our Milky Way Galaxy is a quiet…

3 days ago

Warp Drives Could Generate Gravitational Waves

Will future humans use warp drives to explore the cosmos? We're in no position to…

3 days ago