Solar Cycle 24 – Solar Maximum Has Arrived

Magnetogram image from the Solar Dynamics Observatory, GSFC, NASA, November 1, 2012 @ 0430 UTC

Our Sun has a magnetic cycle that spans approxamately 22 years from peak to peak. In the above image, the positive and negative polarity is presented in a black vs. white presentation. For about 11 years, the polarity of the sunspots in the northern hemisphere cross the Sun in a black/white/black/white fashion, while the spots in the south go white/blcak/white/black. (or opposite, depending on what part of the cycle we see the Sun in.)

This pattern, opposite in the north from the south, changes when the peak (or trough… max or min) is reached. The changing of polarity of a group of spots or one spot signals the cycle is at maximum, or when the cycle is about to change.

In the Southern hemisphere, on the eastern limb of the Sun, we have a spot with a reversed polarity!! Ladies and gentlemen…. Solar Cycle #24 has reached its Maximum!!

Ummmm…. The odd thing is, the Sunspot count, as of 1219 UTC on 11/01/2012 is 35. I recorded the highest count on November 10, 2011 @ 220. Originally that was forecasted to be peak of this cycle. Then it was extended to late 2012… or early 2013… now it is May 2013, I think.

The forecast for this cycle was a weak cycle with a lower peak than the previous cycle. So that seems to be the case. But, if we reach peak at an extremely low Sunspot count, could this mean that solar output is on the verge of collapse? Could we be on the brink of a Grand minimum? And, is this a symptom of an overall event? As our Solar System starts to be inundated by electrons and other cosmic rays from the coalescence of G2 and Sgr A*, will our Sun have a “grand finale” with one big final Cycle 24 superflare?

Hey… who says that climate change has to be so damn local? All the other planets are gettin’ in on the changes, why not the Sun?

If you want to be prepared, visit FEMA.gov and read all about it in the disaster heading labeled “Space Weather”.

Keep your head UP!!

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