We’ve Entered a New Solar Cycle: What Should You Know

NASA Confirms We've Officially Entered a Brand New Solar Cycle

Since we began to track and examine Sun’s dark blemishes in earnest, we have observed a temper and quiescence pattern that repeats approximately every 11 years. 

So far, there have been 24 cycles since astronomers started to record them in the mid-18th century. According to a panel realized by NASA and the NOAA experts, December 2019 marked the beginning of cycle 25. Here is what you need to know.

More to Understand

The variations in the Sun’s behavior make the astronomers’ work pretty challenging. It’s almost impossible to spot a new start until it’s passed. 

Frederic Clette, the director of the World Data Center Sunspot Index and Long-term Solar Observations, explained that: “We keep a detailed record of the few tiny sunspots that mark the onset and rise of the new cycle.”

Even if astronomers carefully recorded the 11-year cycles, they still don’t have the mechanisms behind them entirely worked out. The best they can determine for the Sun’s patterns has to do with variations in its magnetic fields driven by complex currents of flowing plasma deep within. However, what pulls and pushes the winds in such a way is the part we need to figure out. 

The Solar Cycle 25’s Characteristics

Whether the brand new solar cycle will put on a show or not is left to be seen. It’s somehow unlikely to be explosive. The last solar cycle, for instance, was relatively shy, but mostly by comparison with preceding cycles, which were somewhat more powerful than usual. 

Doug Biesecker, a solar physicist and the co-chair of the panel at NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center in Colorado, stated: “The Sun’s impact on our daily lives is real and is there.”

One thing is for sure. Any relationship between the 2020s rather sad events and the Sun’s contemplative mood is at best symbolic. Still, one can’t help but sometimes wonder what the stars are trying to tell us.


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