Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Solar Cycle 24 Sunspot Prediction

Not mine, this one comes from some outfit called NASA: 

(Updated 2012/01/03) 
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The current prediction for Sunspot Cycle 24 gives a smoothed sunspot number maximum of about 96 in February of 2013. We are currently about three years into Cycle 24. Increased activity in the last few months has raised the predicted maximum and moved it earlier in 2013. The current predicted size still makes this the smallest sunspot cycle in over 80 years.
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....MORE
Here's another Sunspot watcher: