Solar Cycle Waking Up!
Image credit: By David Hathaway, NASA, Marshall Space Flight Center – http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/predict.shtml, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28557779
What a difference a year can make in the life of the Sun. In June of 2009, solar scientists were saying that the sunspot activity had been some of the quietest in 100 years with 264 spotless days in 2009 and 268 spotless days in 2008. However, by June 2010, sunspot AR 1081 (June 12th M-Class) was already being registered with C-class and M-class solar flares now being observed. Solar flares are categorized as A, B, C, M, or X, each category becoming more powerful, with a numerical intensity from 1 through 9 also added. Scientists met on June 8th 2010 at the National Press Club in Washington DC for the The Space Weather Enterprise Forum (https://swfound.org/events/2017/space-weather-enterprise-forum), designed to discuss the fact that the sun, now understood as “variable star,” is certainly waking up. Their conclusion was that between now and 2013 we may be in for very severe solar storms that can knock out power to major cities especially in the northern latitudes of the earth. The solar maximum for this Solar Cycle 24 is currently expected to occur in May 2013 but the date may change. (http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/products/solar-cycle-progression/).
The date of the next solar maximum (when the sun will pass the highest threshold of solar flares and start to calm down) cannot be fixed at this time because, according to The Keys of Enoch® (Key 304:11), our sun is “a variable star.” This confirmation was not officially stated until February 2010 when Lika Guhathakurta of NASA headquarters in Washington DC confirmed this Key of Enoch® in his formal statement (http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2010/05feb_sdo/.) For now we may just have to sit back and watch the sun. For those who are interested in monitoring the solar activity on a regular basis, there are websites on the internet, a few suggested sites are:
www.n3kl.org/sun/noaa.html; www.spaceweather.com; www.solarcycle24.com/; http://prop.hfradio.org/; If you want to watch sunspots grow see: http://www.landscheidt.info/?q=node/50
There are now numerous satellites watching our sun, three of which are: STEREO, SDO and ACE. STEREO (Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory stereo.gsfc.nasa.gov/) is a pair of spacecraft stationed on opposite sides of the sun that can observe 90% of the sun’s surface. NASA’s SDO (the Solar Dynamics Observatory sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/) is the newest addition and designed to monitor the extreme UV spectrum and photograph solar active regions so we can watch the growth of sunspots. And finally the ACE (Advanced Composition Explorer www.srl.caltech.edu/ACE/ ) which is a solar wind monitor. ACE can detect radiation storms as much as 30 minutes before they hit our planet.
If you are wondering why in some parts of the world like Europe in June 2010 it may seem colder and wetter than normal, the reason may be the slowness of the sunspot cycle to develop which appears to affect Earth’s climate. Global warming is clearly no longer a politically nor scientifically correct term, but “climate change” certainly is!