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A new sunspot is emerging inside the circle region--and it is a strange one. The low latitude of the spot suggests it is a member of old Solar Cycle 23, yet the magnetic polarity of the spot is ambiguous, identifying it with neither old Solar Cycle 23 nor new Solar Cycle 24. Stay tuned for updates as the sunspot grows. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Of course this puts my reasonable analysis of solar cycle outside of the last 176 year normal to a two sigma 95% interval 12.6 years has crossed the limit. With little sign of the next cycle beginning yet, this might get worse. I tell you what, I prefer the taxes from global warming to the cost of glaciers in my yard, it seems like a balance of evils to me. I hope this solar cycle changes soon but we can no more effect the sun with a dance than we can effect global warming with a tax so what choice do we have. In Dr. David Hathaway's defense, he made his statement above in July which put the current minimum at 2008.583 which comes to 12.166 years and just inside the 95% two sigma certainty of 12.42. Now that we're at 12.6, I wonder if they'll extend the predictions for the beginning of the next cycle again.
If the sun can be thought to have a heart, then the currents of hot gas inside represent blood, pulsating around and upward through various layers toward the surface. Sunspots are the hemorrhaged artery in this analogy, bursting quagmires of pent-up energy.
Using sound waves to peer a third of the way into this energetic orb, researchers have found the pulse: Vast pools of hot, electrified gas rub shoulders as they move at different speeds, alternating between slow and fast paces in a surprisingly quick cycle thought to drive sunspot activity.
Yesterday's sunspot (NOAA 1011) has rapidly faded away. The sunspot's low latitude suggests it may have been a member of old Solar Cycle 23; the sunspot's magnetic polarity was unusual and did not clearly identify it as a member of either Cycle 23 or Cycle 24. Credit: SOHO/MDI