The Solar Cycle 25 has started! This was confirmed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) just this September 15, 2020.
According to Solar Cycle 25 Prediction Panel, an international group co-sponsored by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the new solar cycle has started when the solar minimum has occurred in December 2019. The space administration made mention that it can take months to declare this event since the Sun is so variable.
To determine the start of a new solar cycle, the monthly data on sunspots from the World Data Center have been consulted by the prediction panel. These data track sunspots and pinpoints the solar cycle’s highs and lows.
They associate the dark blotches on the Sun with a solar activity which are often the “origins for giant explosions such as solar flares or coronal mass ejections.”
To enhance space weather preparedness and protect the nation from space weather hazards, NASA, NOAA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other federal agencies work together on the National Space Weather Strategy and Action Plan.
“There is no bad weather, just bad preparation. Space weather is what it is – our job is to prepare.”
– Jake Bleacher, chief scientist for NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate at the agency’s Headquarters
According to NASA, scientists are working on predictive models so they can one-day forecast space weather much like meteorologists forecast weather on Earth.
“Understanding the Sun’s behavior is an important part of life in our solar system. The Sun’s powerful outbursts can disturb the satellites and communications signals traveling around Earth, or one day, Artemis astronauts exploring distant worlds.”
– NASA on Instagram, September 16, 2020
Hearing a lot about our Sun today?
Scientists just announced it’s in a new cycle — meaning that we expect to see solar activity start to ramp up over the next several years.
— NASA (@NASA) September 15, 2020
The Sun’s activity is expected to ramp up toward the next predicted maximum in July 2025 and according to Doug Biesecker, panel co-chair and solar physicist at NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) in Boulder, Colorado, the Solar Cycle 25 is anticipated to be as strong as the last solar cycle.
The last solar cycle was a below-average cycle, but it does not mean there is no risk of extreme space weather. “The Sun’s impact on our daily lives is real and is there,” said Biesecker.
“Just as NOAA’s National Weather Service makes us a weather-ready nation, what we’re driving to be is a space weather-ready nation.”
– Elsayed Talaat, director of Office of Projects, Planning, and Analysis for NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service in Silver Spring, Maryland
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