Solar cycle 25

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Solar cycle 25 is the 25th solar cycle since 1755, when extensive recording of solar sunspot activity began.[1][2] According to some scientists, it is expected to begin in late 2019 and continue through 2030.[3][4]

Several varying predictions had been made between 2014–2019 in regard to cycle 25, with prediction range from weak (Zharkova et al., Upton & Hathaway, and Kitiashvili et al.) to medium (Bhowmik et al.) and even strong (Xu et al.). General agreement in the scientific literature also holds that it will be weaker than average (i.e. weaker than during the Modern Maximum).[5] A preliminary consensus of the Solar Cycle 25 Prediction Panel was made in early 2019.[6] The Panel, which was organized by NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC), NASA, and the International Solar Energy Society (ISES), concluded that Solar Cycle 25 will be very similar to Solar Cycle 24.

Predictions[edit]

Several varying predictions had been made between 2014–2019 in regard to cycle 25, with prediction range from weak (Zharkova et al., Upton & Hathaway, and Kitiashvili et al.) to medium (Bhowmik et al.) and even strong (Xu et al.). General agreement in the scientific literature also holds that it will be weaker than average (i.e. weaker than during Modern Maximum).[5] Upton and Hathaway predicted that the weakness of cycle 25 would make it part of the Modern Gleissberg Minimum,[7] coming in the aftermath of an exceptionally strong Modern Maximum.

A preliminary consensus of the Solar Cycle 25 Prediction Panel was made in early 2019.[6] The Panel, which was organized by NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC), NASA, and the International Solar Energy Society (ISES), concluded that Solar Cycle 25 will be very similar to Solar Cycle 24. They anticipated that the Solar Cycle minimum before Cycle 25 will be long and deep, just as the minimum that preceded Cycle 24. They expected the solar maximum to occur between 2023–2026 with a sunspot range of 95–130, given in terms of the revised sunspot number. For comparison, Cycle 24 had a revised sunspot number of 116.4.

In June 2019, NASA Ames' Bay Area Environmental Research Institute published a forecast for the next solar cycle, saying it will be the weakest in the last 200 years.[8]

Cycle 25 predictions
Source Date Cycle max Cycle start Cycle end
Thompson, M.J. et al.[4] August 2014 Q4 2019
Zharkova, V. et al.[9] (Northumbria U.) October 2014 80% of cycle 24
Upton, L.A. and Hathaway, D.H.[7] (Solar Observatories Group, Stanford University) December 2018 95% of cycle 24 Late 2020 – Early 2021
Xu, J.C. et al.[10] (Chinese Academy of Sciences) August 2018 152.2–184.8 (2024) October 2020
Bhowmik, P. et al.[5] (IISER Kolkata) December 2018 109–139 (2023–2025) 2020 after 2031
NOAA / SSRC[11] April 2019 95–130 (2023–2026) mid-2019 – late 2020
NASA[8] 2019 30–50% lower than Cycle 24 (2025) 2020

Early signs[edit]

As of April 2018, the Sun showed signs of a reverse magnetic polarity sunspot appearing and beginning this solar cycle.[12] It is typical during the transition from one cycle to the next to experience a period where sunspots of both polarities exist (during the solar minimum). The polarward reversed polarity sunspots suggest that a transition to cycle 25 is in process.[13] The first Cycle 25 sunspot may have appeared in early April 2018[14][15] or even December 2016.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kane, R.P. (2002). "Some implications using the Group Sunspot Number reconstruction". Solar Physics. 205 (2): 383–401. Bibcode:2002SoPh..205..383K. doi:10.1023/A:1014296529097.
  2. ^ "The Sun: Did you say the Sun has spots?". Space Today Online. Retrieved 12 August 2010.
  3. ^ Odenwald, Sten (2 September 2016). "Waiting for the next sunspot cycle: 2019-2030". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  4. ^ a b McIntosh, Scott W.; Wang, Xin; Leamon, Robert J.; Davey, Alisdair R.; Howe, Rachel; Krista, Larisza D.; Malanushenko, Anna V.; Markel, Robert S.; Cirtain, Jonathan W.; Gurman, Joseph B.; Pesnell, William D.; Thompson, Michael J. (8 August 2014). "Deciphering Solar magnetic activity: On the relationship between the sunspot cycle and the evolution of small magnetic features". The Astrophysical Journal. 792 (1): 12. arXiv:1403.3071. Bibcode:2014ApJ...792...12M. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/792/1/12.
  5. ^ a b c Bhowmik, Prantika; Nandy, Dibyendu (6 December 2018). "Prediction of the strength and timing of sunspot cycle 25 reveal decadal-scale space environmental conditions". Nature Communications. 9 (1): 5209. Bibcode:2018NatCo...9.5209B. doi:10.1038/s41467-018-07690-0. PMC 6283837. PMID 30523260.
  6. ^ a b "Solar cycle 25 preliminary forecast". NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center.
  7. ^ a b Upton, Lisa A.; Hathaway, David H. (28 August 2018). "An updated solar cycle 25 prediction with AFT: The modern minimum". Geophysical Research Letters. 45 (16): 8091–8095. doi:10.1029/2018GL078387.
  8. ^ a b "Solar activity forecast for next decade favorable for exploration". NASA Ames.
  9. ^ Shepherd, Simon J.; Zharkov, Sergei I.; Zharkova, Valentina V. (13 October 2014). "Prediction of solar activity from solar background magnetic field variations in cycles 21-23". The Astrophysical Journal. 795 (1): 46. Bibcode:2014ApJ...795...46S. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/795/1/46.
  10. ^ Li, F.Y.; Kong, D.F.; Xie, J.L.; Xiang, N.B.; Xu, J.C. (December 2018). "Solar cycle characteristics and their application in the prediction of cycle 25". Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics. 181: 110–115. Bibcode:2018JASTP.181..110L. doi:10.1016/j.jastp.2018.10.014.
  11. ^ "Scientists predict a new solar cycle is about to begin and that it might be stronger than the last one". Washington Post. 11 April 2019.
  12. ^ "Coronal hole faces Earth". Space Weather Live. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  13. ^ a b Phillips, Tony (20 November 2018). "A sunspot from the next solar cycle". SpaceWeather.com. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  14. ^ "Cycle 25 observations in SDO HMI imagery". Retrieved 2018-05-04.
  15. ^ Hudson, Hugh (10 April 2018). "A sunspot from cycle 25 for sure". RHESSI project. Retrieved 22 November 2018.

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