Saturday, September 14, 2013

Current solar cycle activity and prediction by NASA

Back on the 5th of October NASA posted the below article on their Marshall Space Flight Center website. It discusses the situation with the current solar maximum cycle and the science around predicting the intensity of the solar maximums.

Via solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov, 5 September 2013 - he current prediction for Sunspot Cycle 24 gives a smoothed sunspot number maximum of about 66 in the Summer of 2013. The smoothed sunspot number has already reached 67 (in February 2012) due to the strong peak in late 2011 so the official maximum will be at least this high. The smoothed sunspot number has been flat over the last four months. We are currently over four years into Cycle 24. The current predicted and observed size makes this the smallest sunspot cycle since Cycle 14 which had a maximum of 64.2 in February of 1906.

Predicting the behavior of a sunspot cycle is fairly reliable once the cycle is well underway (about 3 years after the minimum in sunspot number occurs [see Hathaway, Wilson, and Reichmann Solar Physics; 151, 177 (1994)]). Prior to that time the predictions are less reliable but nonetheless equally as important. Planning for satellite orbits and space missions often require knowledge of solar activity levels years in advance.

Continue to full article,
http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/predict.shtml

3 comments:

angelicview said...

Did you mean the 5th of September by any chance? ;)

Laron said...

I sure did!

Linda said...

He's just ahead of his time AV!