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Solar cycle 21

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Solar cycle 21
The Sun, recorded at the H-alpha wavelength, during solar cycle 21 (28 April 1980).
Sunspot data
Start dateMarch 1976
End dateSeptember 1986
Duration (years)10.5
Max count232.9
Max count monthDecember 1979
Min count17.8
Spotless days273
Cycle chronology
Previous cycleSolar cycle 20 (1964-1976)
Next cycleSolar cycle 22 (1986-1996)

Solar cycle 21 was the 21st solar cycle since 1755, when extensive recording of solar sunspot activity began.[1][2] The solar cycle lasted 10.5 years, beginning in March 1976 and ending in September 1986. The maximum smoothed sunspot number observed during the solar cycle was 232.9, in December 1979, and the starting minimum was 17.8.[3] During the minimum transit from solar cycle 21 to 22, there were a total of 273 days with no sunspots.[4][5][6] The largest solar flare of this cycle (X15) occurred on July 11, 1978.[7]

This solar cycle marked the beginning of systematic monitoring of the total solar irradiance from space.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kane, R.P. (2002). "Some Implications Using the Group Sunspot Number Reconstruction". Solar Physics 205(2), 383-401.
  2. ^ "The Sun: Did You Say the Sun Has Spots?". Space Today Online. Retrieved 12 August 2010.
  3. ^ SIDC Monthly Smoothed Sunspot Number. "[1]"
  4. ^ Spotless Days. "[2]"
  5. ^ What's Wrong with the Sun? (Nothing) more information: Spotless Days. ""NASA - What's Wrong with the Sun?". Archived from the original on 2008-07-14. Retrieved 2017-07-12."
  6. ^ Solaemon's Spotless Days Page. "[3]"
  7. ^ "The Most Powerful Solar Flares ever Recorded". spaceweather.com.
  8. ^ Kopp, G. (2016). "Magnitudes and timescales of total solar irradiance variability". JSWSC 6, A30.