Wednesday, July 22, 2020

There's a Little Black Spot On The Sun Today

It appears the the new solar cycle is definitely under way.
From SpaceWeather:
A NEW SUNSPOT: A sunspot has appeared and, according to its magnetic polarity, it is a member of new Solar Cycle 25. The sunspot's Earth-sized dark core is inset in this magnetic map from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory:
This new spot is another sign of life from strengthening Solar Cycle 25. So far this year there have been 13 sunspots--ten of them (77%) coming from the new solar cycle. This compares to only 17% in 2019 and 0% in 2018. The sun is clearly  tipping from one solar cycle to the next.
It is too soon to know if this new sunspot will become a source of solar flares. That depends on its magnetic complexity, which will reveal itself in the days ahead as the sunspot turns toward Earth. Stay tuned!

By themselves sunspots don't mean much but as visible evidence of what's going on (and in) the big glowing ball-of-fusion in the sky they are handy little (huge) things.
And they give me an opportunity to roll out a gritty cover of King of Pain by the Police:

Last seen in April's "Sunspots and Agricultural Production (William Herschel does a driveby)"