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Sunspot activity reaches all-time low

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posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 06:28 PM
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Source:

www.washingtonpost.com...


Not to sound alarmist or anything but isnt this similar to what the movie 2012 was about?

The new solar maximum will occur in 2012.... very weird coincidence to say the least.

When sunspot numbers drop at the end of each 11-year cycle, solar storms die down and all becomes much calmer. This "solar minimum" doesn't last long. Within a year, the spots and storms begin to build toward a new crescendo, the next solar maximum.

What that means is that once this cycle of no solar activity finishes, the cycle of activity will skyrocket back at us like a rubber band on a slingshot.




posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 06:33 PM
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Originally posted by demonseed

The new solar maximum will occur in 2012.... very weird coincidence to say the least.




You confuse the meaning of coincidence.

A coincidence is something random and unexpected. An 11year cycle is hardly unexpected.

You are also wrong about solar minimums. They last 11 years as well.

Every 11 years the sun goes through a change. This is hardly anything to be alarmed about.

It's the newspapers job, to scare us, and our job to use logic and reason, to not buy into it.



posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 06:35 PM
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ice age is coming, we need more sunspots, turn up the heat please.



posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 06:46 PM
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Originally posted by Teller
It's the newspapers job, to scare us, and our job to use logic and reason, to not buy into it.


I can only assume that you did not read the article which was actually very good and factually correct and basically told it like it is and was not scaremongering.

There is a 'problem' in that the next cycles is not getting going, and the estimates of a huge solar maximum of activity have been considerably reduced.

Good post OP



[edit on 23/6/2010 by PuterMan]



posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 09:22 PM
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Originally posted by demonseed
What that means is that once this cycle of no solar activity finishes, the cycle of activity will skyrocket back at us like a rubber band on a slingshot.


Look, we can make 20 different predictions and 19 of them will be wrong. People are looking at this with tunnel vision.

Expand your thinking to longer timescales:



Prior to 1700 the sun went decades without sunspots. Nobody is sure why, but what we are sure of is that the sun is still here.

So we could get a bunch more sunspots, or we could have another quiet period with almost no sunspots like the maunder minimum, who knows? But there's no reason to lose any sleep over either possibility.



posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 01:21 PM
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Originally posted by Teller

Originally posted by demonseed

The new solar maximum will occur in 2012.... very weird coincidence to say the least.




You confuse the meaning of coincidence.

A coincidence is something random and unexpected. An 11year cycle is hardly unexpected.

You are also wrong about solar minimums. They last 11 years as well.

Every 11 years the sun goes through a change. This is hardly anything to be alarmed about.

It's the newspapers job, to scare us, and our job to use logic and reason, to not buy into it.



the coincidence between 2012 the date with all the horror predictions and 2012 the next step in the solar cycle.



posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 01:23 PM
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Originally posted by Arbitrageur

Originally posted by demonseed
What that means is that once this cycle of no solar activity finishes, the cycle of activity will skyrocket back at us like a rubber band on a slingshot.


Look, we can make 20 different predictions and 19 of them will be wrong. People are looking at this with tunnel vision.

Expand your thinking to longer timescales:



Prior to 1700 the sun went decades without sunspots. Nobody is sure why, but what we are sure of is that the sun is still here.

So we could get a bunch more sunspots, or we could have another quiet period with almost no sunspots like the maunder minimum, who knows? But there's no reason to lose any sleep over either possibility.


"This is solar behavior we haven't seen in living memory," says David Hathaway, a physicist at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.



posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 01:35 PM
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reply to post by demonseed
 

"Living memory", not "history". I don't know anyone who was alive in the 17th century. Do you?


in/within living memory
events or situations in living memory can be remembered by people who are alive now

idioms.thefreedictionary.com...


The next solar maximum is predicted to occur in 2013 not 2012.

May 8, 2009 -- Solar Cycle 24 Prediction Update The Solar Cycle 24 Prediction Panel has reached a consensus decision on the prediction of the next solar cycle (Cycle 24). First, the panel has agreed that solar minimum occurred in December, 2008. This still qualifies as a prediction since the smoothed sunspot number is only valid through September, 2008. The panel has decided that the next solar cycle will be below average in intensity, with a maximum sunspot number of 90. Given the predicted date of solar minimum and the predicted maximum intensity, solar maximum is now expected to occur in May, 2013. Note, this is a consensus opinion, not a unanimous decision. A supermajority of the panel did agree to this prediction.

www.swpc.noaa.gov...

We seem to be on schedule (note the name on the chart).


[edit on 6/24/2010 by Phage]



posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 02:15 PM
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Originally posted by Phage
www.swpc.noaa.gov...

We seem to be on schedule (note the name on the chart).


Do you really think so?

I looked at that link you provided and it looks to me like they have changed the schedule to match the data:

April 2007 "Schedule":


April 2009 "Schedule"


And of course your more recent schedule.

The schedule in April 2007 looks like the sunspots were supposed to peak maybe somewhere around November 2011 if I'm reading that right? And now it looks more like March 2013 or so?

If you keep changing the schedule as more data comes in, how can you ever be "off schedule"?


Maybe planes, trains and buses can use this concept to improve their on-time performance: "We're not behind schedule, you just have the old schedule, here's the new one we printed up on the way over here"


Seriously though, that's kind of an odd-looking double peak almost 2 years apart at the top of the previous cycle so maybe that threw them off somewhat on their predictions?



posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 02:41 PM
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I've spent a significant amount of time studying this subject as it pertains to radio propagation, as I am an Amateur Radio operator. There is a lot of variability from cycle to cycle, so much so that predictions aren't reliable. The truth is that nobody really knows what to expect from one cycle to another. Our "serious" knowledge about the Sun's cycles are represented in micro seconds when you consider the life of the Sun. Our samples of data are so small it is silly. There is thought to be a conveyor-like system that carries sunspots from the surface of the Sun down into its' interior regions, and no one really knows what happens way below the surface. We not only don't know about the gaps in that conveyor, we don't know about any change in groups of sunspots as they progress around through the Suns' interior. Regular, "normal" activity on the Sun looks pretty scary to someone looking at pictures from the Solar observatories, but it doesn't mean that catastrophes are staring us in the face. There's a lot going on here that NOBODY understands.



posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 02:50 PM
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reply to post by Arbitrageur
 

The April 2007 prediction was based more on another prediction (the occurrence of solar minimum which was expected to occur in March, 2008) rather than past performance. The panel stuck with that prediction in June 2008.

It turned out the minimum did not occur until December (oops) so the prediction was changed in May of 2009. That prediction has not changed (yet) and the increasing activity seems to be a fair fit. The Hathaway chart shows maximum, mean, and minimum predicted sunspot numbers. The NOAA chart shows maximum predicted numbers.



posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 07:39 PM
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The interesting case with this solar cycle is that the minimum has lasted for a longer period of time than we have on record, hence NASA scientist believe that when the sun does in fact reach its maximum it will much more intense with many more solar storms, due to the prolonged minimum period.



posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 07:56 PM
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reply to post by lacanau
 

Please provide a source.

The latest (as far as I know) prediction is that the next solar maximum will be of lower than average intensity.

The panel has decided that the next solar cycle will be below average in intensity, with a maximum sunspot number of 90. Given the predicted date of solar minimum and the predicted maximum intensity

www.swpc.noaa.gov...



posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 07:17 AM
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reply to post by Phage
 
Right. They may be sticking with the 2009 prediction so far but it was the change from the 2007 prediction I referred to.


Originally posted by lacanau
NASA scientist believe that when the sun does in fact reach its maximum it will much more intense with many more solar storms, due to the prolonged minimum period.



Originally posted by Phage
Please provide a source.


I don't know what the r squared correlation value is between the number of sunspots and the number of CMEs but it's not 100%. The sunspot prediction of 90 seems quite moderate or even maybe low but the source posted in another thread said this:

www.telegraph.co.uk...

Senior space agency scientists believe the Earth will be hit with unprecedented levels of magnetic energy from solar flares after the Sun wakes “from a deep slumber” sometime around 2013, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.


I can't find where they said that so they seem to be mis-stating what the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center meant, when they said something COULD happen:

science.nasa.gov...


"If our prediction is correct, Solar Cycle 24 will have a peak sunspot number of 90, the lowest of any cycle since 1928 when Solar Cycle 16 peaked at 78," says panel chairman Doug Biesecker of the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center.

It is tempting to describe such a cycle as "weak" or "mild," but that could give the wrong impression.

"Even a below-average cycle is capable of producing severe space weather," points out Biesecker. "The great geomagnetic storm of 1859, for instance, occurred during a solar cycle of about the same size we’re predicting for 2013."


I'm guessing that is the NOAA statement that the reporter distorted. Talk about twisting someone else's words, sheesh. Officials say it COULD happen and the reporter reports the officials EXPECT it to happen. That's a big discrepancy!



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