Where have all the sunspots gone

Space Weather asks the question. Yet despite the fact that it is as plain as a pikestaff that there are no sunspots they managed to find one!

This week, solar activity has sharply declined. There is only one numbered sunspot on the Earth-facing side of the sun, and it is so small you might have trouble finding it. Click to enlarge this July 17th image from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Obervatory [sic] and see if you can locate AR2113

blank_20140717(Click the Image for a larger/clearer version)

What do you mean you could not find it??

In case you couldn’t find the sunspot’s tiny decaying core

not-quite-blank_20140717(Click the Image for a larger/clearer version)

Basically this is not even speck counting this is just an out and out lie! Whilst speck-counting is bad enough to try and palm this off as a sunspot is worth of the best snake-oil salesman.

But be afraid, be very afraid!

Long-time readers absorbing this image might be reminded of 2008-2009, years of spotlessness when the sun plunged into the deepest solar minimum in a century. The resemblance, however, is only superficial. Deep inside the sun, the solar dynamo is still churning out knots of magnetism that should soon bob to the surface to make new sunspots. Solar Max is not finished, it’s just miniature.

It really is bad, honest.

NASA/NOAA says so:-

Pesnell points to a number of factors that signal Solar Max conditions in 2014: “The sun’s magnetic field has flipped; we are starting to see the development of long coronal holes; and, oh yes, sunspot counts are cresting.”

Another panelist, Doug Bieseker of the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center, agrees with Pesnell: “Solar Maximum is here …. Finally.” According to an analysis Bieseker presented at NOAA’s Space Weather Workshop in April, the sunspot number for Solar Cycle 24 is near its peak right now.

Cresting? Sunspots at the peak? Just exactly which Solar System do these idiots reside? It certainly is not the one I live in. These people call themselves ‘scientists’ but unfortunately these days that has come to mean grant chasing inveterate liars and scaremongers. All respect for science has rapidly dissipated in the chorus of that most unscientific phenomenon the grant oriented consensus. I accept thathe NOAA report was put out in June when there were some sunspots but for Space Weather to link to it now when the Sun is so quiet, using the phrase solar max is not finished, is just not worthy.

Leave it to Landscheidt to give a more realistic picture

Daily Update:

A third spotless day is recorded with a chance of more to follow, Locarno recording a zero day also without a speck to be found. F10.7 flux down to solar minimum levels.

Laymans_2014-07-18_192701(Click the Image for a larger/clearer version)

SC24 Summary:

Back in 2008 I made a prediction for SC24 based on what I think are solid foundations. The prediction was for a SSN value of less than 50 according to the old scale. So far I am on track but I also mentioned that SC24 might be a cycle where one hemisphere shuts down. The first peak of SC24 was around 2 years ago where we saw a Sun reach its peak totally dominated by the northern hemisphere, since then there has been a gradual decline in the north to a point where now the south has nearly completely taken over and is attempting to reach a peak similar to the north 2 years ago.

If both hemispheres had experienced this activity at the same time we might have had something close to a normal cycle but now with the prospect of the north shutting down completely some big questions remain. The northern hemisphere has switched polarity (just) and the south is attempting this process and with the new activity should do so, but if the north shuts down there may not be enough flux to take the hemisphere away from neutral. If so this could have ramifications for the next cycle, which I am expecting. What continues to play out with the south will also have consequences, will the south die off quickly as witnessed in the north which will mean the end of SC24 and if so will that hemisphere also have trouble breaking away from neutral?

There is still much to play out that will possibly teach us why solar grand minima go for at least 2 cycles.

List of solar cycles

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About PuterMan

A retired programmer.
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