Share this story...
Latest News

Sun nears solar minimum record as 2019 cycle comes to close

(Storyblocks Photo)

Many people know that the sun experiences an 11-year sunspot cycle and during 2019 we have been experiencing one of the deepest solar minimum!

So far, the sun has been spotless for 262 days and if that trend continues it will break the previous record set back in 2008, when the sun recorded no sunspots for 268 days.

If that record is broken, this will be one of the deepest solar minimum in the period of the space age.

To many this may not seem like a big deal, but if you look into the history of solar and sunspot records this has some deeper meaning.

Many scientists believe that these deep solar minimum help to produce colder climate in many parts of the planet.

This runs counter to many that believe that we are in a true period of man-made planetary heating, known as climate change.

While I believe that history does show trends with climate related to solar activity, we should all look at other reasons for changes in climate here on Earth.

Many might not know that there was a period in recent history, known as the Maunder Minimum (1646-1715), in which there was a dramatic lack of sunspots.

During this period of time, there was a deep cooling of the planet and major changes in climate were observed in many parts of the world.

Other related causes for the reduction of global temperatures are volcanic activity, which places vast amounts of dust and particulate matter, blocking sunlight that is headed for the surface of the Earth.

Soon after this new low in sunspot activity, the sun will begin solar cycle No. 25.

Many solar astronomers are predicting that this next solar cycle will be mild, indeed.

Solar cycle 25 will soon begin in 2020 and reach its next maximum in 2025.

Some are predicting that this new solar cycle will be the mildest in 200 years. This is great for solar forecasters that keep an eye out for large solar flares and coronal mass ejections.

With the vast increase of satellites and manned spacecraft above us, this is good news for many sectors of the space community.

To get the latest solar images and really impressive video of current and future solar activity, visit this site.

To learn more about the vast history of solar science spacecraft, please visit this site.

It will be interesting to see just how mild solar cycle 25 will be, or not!

Happy holidays and Merry Christmas!

See you on the radio!

To print your own monthly star chart, click here.

To view satellites/dates/times of passage, click here.

Listen to the Dr. Sky Show on KTAR News 92.3 FM every Saturday morning at 3 a.m.

Related Links