It’s the bottom of the cycle. Solar activity has been very low for some time and in recent days and weeks almost nonexistent. For the Ham Radio enthusiasts among us it’s been quiet for a while now. Only occasional Es openings on Six and little activity on the upper HF bands. We all expect that one day soon we should see some renewed action and the sign that the new cycle has gotten underway.
The latest numbers sunspot numbers from noaa are 11 today, 14 yesterday and several days of zero before. If I recall my solar science correctly those numbers correlate to 1 sunspot today, yesterday having one group of four. It’s not an actual count and it’s quite subjective. But at least there is some activity now.
This all brings me to a story I just noticed on NASA;
It’s official: Solar minimum has arrived. Sunspots have all but vanished. Solar flares are nonexistent. The sun is utterly quiet.
Like the quiet before a storm.
This week researchers announced that a storm is coming–the most intense solar maximum in fifty years. The prediction comes from a team led by Mausumi Dikpati of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). “The next sunspot cycle will be 30% to 50% stronger than the previous one,” she says. If correct, the years ahead could produce a burst of solar activity second only to the historic Solar Max of 1958. NASA
That really is good news for both us Ham Radio ops as well as my friends and family up in Salmon that love watching the Northern Lights.