The longest stretch of a blank sun since 2010 — Vencore Weather. The monitoring of cosmic rays by spaceweather.com is now going global. In recent months, they have developed launch sites in three continents: North America, South America and in Europe above the Arctic Circle. The purpose of launching balloons from so many places is to map out the distribution of cosmic rays around our planet.
For more information on this study visit the “Intercontinental Space Weather Balloon Network”. The increase in the penetration of cosmic rays into the Earth’s atmosphere is expected to continue for months to come as solar activity plunges toward the next solar minimum expected around late 2019 or 2020. A follow-up study published in the Aug. 19th, 2016 issue of Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics supports the idea of an important connection between cosmic rays and clouds with a link between sudden decreases in cosmic rays to changes in Earth's cloud cover.
Meteorologist Paul DorianVencore, Inc.vencoreweather.com Video discussion: Current Solar Cycle 3rd All-Time Weakest …Next Cycle Likely To Be Weaker! The sun in December 2016, and a look ahead By Frank Bosse and Fritz Vahrenholt (Translated/summarized by P Gosselin) In December solar activity was rather quiet, with the sunspot number at only 19.5. The sun was spotless over 6 days, and already this month there have been 10 spotless days so far. In December solar activity was only 35% of what the mean is for this month into a cycle. Figure 1: Sunspot activity for solar cycle (SC) 24 (red) compared to the mean cycle (blue) and the comparatively very similarly behaving SC 5 (black) from the year 1798 to 1810. We are now 97 months into SC 24 since it started in 2008. Figure 2: Comparison of all the solar cycles.
No year of the current cycle reached the mean value: Figure 3: The relative sunspot activity for each year of SC 24. So far SC 24 has reached only 56% of the average activity of all cycles occurring since 1755. Figure 4: Plot of the solar polar field since 1977. Figure 5 : Comparison of both polar fields. What does this decoupling mean? Number Of Sunspots Dwindling Faster Than Expected, NASA Says. The sun is in the currently in its quietest period for more than a century. For the second time this month, the sun has gone into ‘cue ball’ mode, with images from Nasa showing no large visible sunspots on its surface Images captured by Nasa’s Solar Dynamics Observatory from Nov 14-18 reveal just a handful of barely-visible spots on the surface of the sun, which is otherwise as blank as a cue ball. The sun follows a pendulum-like pattern of activity over roughly an 11-year period, and while scientists say this behaviour is not unusual, some have warned the current trend could send Earth into a ‘mini ice age.’
According to Nasa, the number of sunspots appears to be dwindling faster than expected. But, following the last activity peak in early 2014, they say the solar minimum shouldn’t come until 2021. The researchers say they expect to see more, and larger, sunspots in the time between – but, only time will tell. We’re currently in Cycle 24, which began in 2008. As Earth Warms Up, The Sun Is Remarkably Quiet | Category 6™
If you’re looking toward the sun to help explain this decade’s record global heat on Earth, look again. Solar activity has been below average for more than a decade, and the pattern appears set to continue, according to several top solar researchers. Solar Cycle 24, the one that will wrap up in the late 2010s, was the least active in more than a century. We now have outlooks for Cycle 25, the one that will prevail during the 2020s, and they’re calling for a cycle only about as strong as--and perhaps even less active than--Cycle 24.Weak solar cycles tend to produce fewer solar storms, those dramatic bursts of magnetized material from the sun that generate spectacular auroral displays and play havoc with satellite-based systems and power grids on Earth.
However, solar storms that do emerge during weak cycles can be among the most potent, notes Scott McIntosh (National Center for Atmospheric Research). Figure 1. Figure 2. Figure 3. Figure 4. Comments will take a few seconds to appear.