Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Has the New Solar Cycle Started?
Sunspot group 904 is pretty big now, and being almost face on easily visible using safe solar projection techniques, or with the unaided eye. Top of the Lawn shares his sunspot experience with us.
All is relatively quite in the solar storm are though, so no aurora are expected from this group. However, back on July 31, there was a small, inconspicuous sunspot. This sunspot was unusual in that it had the reverse magnitic polarity to what you would have expected. We are currently at solar minimum, and a new sunspot will begin when the sunspots reverse polarity. The new sunspot cycle, cycle 24, is ecxpected to be particularly strong.
However, the reverse poarity sunspot didn't last very long, so we may not be in a new cycle yet. See Science@NASA for the full story.