The New Solar Cycle begins and it's likely to disturb activities on earthSeptember 17, 2020 12:06
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The Sun completes a solar cycle every 11 years which can impact the satellites, GPS, power grids, rockets, and astronauts in space.
Did you ever hear about a solar cycle before? If not, it is the most impactful cycle not only to space but also to the humans on the earth. Here’s how.
A solar cycle completes after every 11 years and this time, the new solar cycle called Solar cycle 25, officially began in December 2019.
The information was given by the Solar Cycle 25 prediction panel comprising international experts on Tuesday.
According to the experts, it would take nearly 10 months to calculate the exact time of the new cycle as the sun is so variable.
Solar Cycle 25 will be very similar to the one we have experienced in the last 11 years and the next solar maximum where the Sun experiences its peak in activity is predicted to occur in July 2025.
During the solar maximum, the sun releases solar flares and other eruptions that will likely disturb the satellites’ communications to the earth.
Solar Cycle 24 was the weakest and the smallest cycle ever occurred in a span of 100 years however, the risk was intact. An epic storm erupted from the Sun in July 2012 but missed colliding with the earth thankfully.
Solar physicists at NOAA’s Space Weather prediction center say that the sun’s impact on our daily lives is real and will be there forever.
The sunspots, which are the dark spots present on the sun’s surface help the scientists predict the activity of the brightest star.
(Image source from: cnn.com)
During the solar maximum of the last cycle, 120 sunspots were tracked, and about 115 spots are expected to be discovered this year.
An above-average Solar cycle would include 200 sunspots.
The sunspots are so important because they help the researchers understand about the start time of the solar cycle and also the end time.
In the course of a solar cycle, the sun will transition for a calm period to an intense period called the minimum and maximum of a solar cycle.
During the peak or the solar maximum, the sun’s magnetic poles flip showing its intense activity, and will become quiet again during the solar minimum.
Over the past one and a half years, the experts say that the sun was clear with no sunspots which means it is in a solar minimum.
Since the sun’s activity is slowed down now, it is predicted by the researchers that the next peak will occur in July 2025.
A total solar eclipse is expected to cross North America in April 2024 which can be an opportunity for scientists to study the solar surface for sunspots.
By Gayatri Yellayi