Two Sunspots From Solar Cycle-25

Spaceweather.com has the details HERE.

Solar Cycle 25 really is coming. Today, for the first time, there are two new-cycle sunspots on the solar disk–one in each hemisphere. This map of solar magnetic fields from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory shows their location:

magnetogram_strip

We know these sunspots belong to the next solar cycle because of their magnetic polarity. Simply put, they are backwards. According to Hale’s Law, sunspot polarities flip-flop from one solar cycle to the next. During old Solar Cycle 24, we grew accustomed to sunspots in the sun’s southern hemisphere having a -/+ pattern. However, look at today’s southern sunspot:

newspot_strip

It is the opposite: +/-. This identifies it as a member of new Solar Cycle 25.

Likewise, today’s northern sunspot has a reversed polarity compared to northern spots from old Solar Cycle 24. It, too, therefore, belongs to Solar Cycle 25.

The sun is currently in Solar Minimum–the nadir of the 11-year sunspot cycle. It’s a deep Minimum, century-class according to sunspot counts. The scarcity of sunspots has been so remarkable that it has prompted discussion of a possible “extended Minimum” akin to the Maunder Minimum of the 17th century when sunspots were absent for decades. Such an event could have implications for terrestrial climate.

Today’s new-cycle sunspots (along with isolatednew-cycle spots earlier this year) suggest that the solar cycle is, in fact, unfolding normally. A new Maunder Minimum does not appear to be in the offing. Forecasters expect Solar Cycle 25 to slowly gain strength in the years ahead and reach a peak in July 2025.

Your thoughts.  The Maunder Minimum was not observed with the technology available today, small spots like these could have been missed. What do you think?

4 thoughts on “Two Sunspots From Solar Cycle-25

  1. Brian Morgan December 24, 2019 / 4:36 pm

    I am thrilled! I saw today’s image 6 hours ago at WUWT, and forwarded the link to a fellow amateur astronomer. We look forward to more cloud-free nights and summertime droughts.

  2. Al December 25, 2019 / 5:35 pm

    It’s possible. After all, they didn’t have the accurate technologies we have today.
    However, I would like to point out that small groups of sunspots from the new cycle also appeared together in 2008, at the beginning of the solar minimum 23/24, yet the minimum lasted until the end of 2009.
    We are still far from the end of the present since cycle 24 is still ongoing.
    I don’t understand why all this surprise.
    It also happened in the past few months.

  3. Mc December 26, 2019 / 5:36 am

    When I read that, my interpretation was the following; We just seen it folks! All bets are off so no need! Go on home now!

    Not sure who was staring at the sun a couple hundred years ago but it must have been painful, this Minimum will continue to be very deep and out of phase however, we will still have Solar Mac in 2025 but how strong? The next Minimum will be weaker then this one, contrary to the models that are being rushed out to make it look like Cycle 25 will be stronger.
    Of course its all speculation with one side hedging their bets, never know until the historical data is in.

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