Solar cycle 25
Solar cycle 25 is the 25th solar cycle since 1755, when extensive recording of solar sunspot activity began. According to some scientists, it is expected to begin in late 2019 and continue through 2030.
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). A preliminary consensus of the Solar Cycle 25 Prediction Panel was made in early 2019. 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.
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). Upton and Hathaway predicted that the weakness of cycle 25 would make it part of the Modern Gleissberg Minimum, 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. 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.
|Source||Date||Cycle max||Cycle start||Cycle end|
|Thompson, M.J. et al.||August 2014||Q4 2019|
|Zharkova, V. et al. (Northumbria U.)||October 2014||80% of cycle 24|
|Upton, L.A. and Hathaway, D.H. (Solar Observatories Group, Stanford University)||December 2018||95% of cycle 24||Late 2020 – Early 2021|
|Xu, J.C. et al. (Chinese Academy of Sciences)||August 2018||152.2–184.8 (2024)||October 2020|
|Bhowmik, P. et al. (IISER Kolkata)||December 2018||109–139 (2023–2025)||2020||after 2031|
|NOAA / SSRC||April 2019||95–130 (2023–2026)||mid-2019 – late 2020|
|NASA||2019||30–50% lower than Cycle 24 (2025)||2020|
As of April 2018, the Sun showed signs of a reverse magnetic polarity sunspot appearing and beginning this solar cycle. 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. The first Cycle 25 sunspot may have appeared in early April 2018 or even December 2016.
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