Sunspots Make Huge Jump
It’s the largest single monthly change in sun spots this cycle. Monthly sunspot numbers go up and down like a yo-yo. Physicists do not understand the sun in fundamental ways.
The big news is that the southern hemisphere sunspot average – 55.6 – hit its highest level yet this cycle. The northern hemisphere count is an expected 30 spots.
Only one scientist comes close to predicting the sun’s current behavior. He is Dr. Leif Svalgaard. This month’s giant leap in sunspot activity was anticipated by Svalgaard who compares current behavior to similar behavior during Cycle 14 a hundred years ago.
But Svalgaard knows more… MUCH more.
The sun is undergoing a fundamental transformation that will affect Earth’s near-term future. Just how much is a matter of ongoing speculation.
It’s frightening how little we understand the sun. To fully comprehend what is happening now, a look back on recently held beliefs is mind-boggling.
Solar Activity Significance
First off, understanding and predicting solar sunspot activity isn’t an academic exercise.
It’s vitally important. Directly affected by it are:
* Satellite orbital characteristics
* Satellite electronics
* Astronaut radiation risk
* Earth’s electric power grids
* Climate change
Sunspot counts are hard-wired into computer calculations that predict the useful lifespan of orbiting satellites, if and when they may fall back to Earth, and even determine their proper launch altitude. Safety planning to protect sensitive satellite electronics from burnout depends on knowing what radiation hazard to expect.
It’s important to know years in advance how often or how strongly doses of lethal radiation will affect orbiting astronauts or earth-based electric power grids.
Being able to predict solar activity allows its hazards to be mitigated in advance.
Current Status of Solar Cycle 24 Predictions
NASA’s March 2007 Prediction for Solar Cycle 24 Activity
In 2006, NASA formed the “Solar Cycle 24 Prediction Panel” near the end of Cycle 23. It’s an international group of top solar physicists from governments and academia.
Their purpose: Predict Solar Cycle 24 peak sunspot activity.
They missed the mark by a country mile!