New Cycle 24 spot formed today

Sol has been without a cycle 24 spot since January 13th. Today the spotless streak was broken with this high latitude and correct polarity spot. The current sunspot number is now at 12 according to SWPC.

mdi_doppler_022409

The SOHO Magnetogram image below shows how the North-South polarity is oriented:

mdi_magnetogram_022409

The real question is: how long will it last? Most of the cycle 24 spots we’ve seen so far have very short lifetimes, winking out in a day or two.

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Lawrie

Does this mean that cycle 24 has commenced and if so when did it start?
REPLY: January 4th of 2008, over a year ago when the first spot appeared:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/01/04/solar-cycle-24-has-officially-started/
– Anthony

The real question is: how long will it last? Most of the cycle 24 spots we’ve seen so far have very short lifetimes, winking out in a day or two.
It has stopped growing, so will probably be just like the others. But in spite of that there are now good indications that solar cycle 24 is on its way and that we are past minimum. TSI, F10.7 have started their upturn, and cosmic rays [traling ~6 months] are on their way down [ever so slightly].
REPLY: That is my impression also. – Anthony

Robert Bateman

Have a look at the GONG images. The spot looks like a blob of off-white paint on a white background. Very mushy. I’m looking at the peach fuzz forming around the magnetic signature and thinking that’s the 1st step in it getting ripped apart. That fuzz migrates out ward in these spider webs after a few days. Then the polarities drift apart, and it’s lights out for Spot.

Robert Bateman

http://www.spaceandscience.net/id16.html
This link was posted on that year ago article.
Seems somebody is bound & determined to get a message out.
Looking at these anorexic SC24 spots to date, it’s high time somebody got alarmed.
Shocking!

C Shannon

I think perhaps confusing to some is the idea that Cycles can overlap. I know when I began reading on the issue it caused quite a bit of confusion deciphering how it all worked. I doubt it is worthy of an entire update of its own but perhaps on the next related entry (or as an update here) you could explain the very basics of the cycles and the transition between cycles. Obviously much of this is available elsewhere but clearly people still have a hard time coming across it and what else is a blog for if not sharing information.
I don’t know how much you intend this blog to be for the lamen, so disregard the suggestion if it goes against your general approach here.

Leon Brozyna

After it first showed up on the magnetogram, it flared up pretty quickly. Thought it’d be larger by now, but it’s barely bigger than an SP {stuck pixel}. Seems to be in keeping with the rather anemic nature of SC24 to date.

Robert Bateman (21:59:52) :
http://www.spaceandscience.net/id16.html
Don’t be taken in by this flaky fellow.
Check this out:
http://209.85.173.132/search?q=cache:kHxYj_J95P8J:issuepedia.org/Space_and_Science_Research_Center+ssrc+john+casey&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=17&gl=us
I have worked for Lockheed and know some of the people John Casy says he consulted for about the Space Shuttle program. They never heard about him. Didn’t happen.

Ray

I would say that the Planetary Index, Ap, is going back up though.
P.S. What happened to the “Reply”?

Alan the Brit

OT, & apologies for doing so, but related to earlier posts, yes the BBC has boosted & boasted the MASSIVE GLOBAL WARMING in Antarctica with loads of half-wits sorry that should have been concerned government reps from around the world down there for a meeting, & yes they did say that it was long thought that no warning had occurred there but now the jury was in. Just a shame it wasn’t a few months from now they had the perfect sunny day to film it all, blast it.
It’s the full PR job quite frankly, & I was expecting it at some stage. Sincere apologies on behalf of the UK.

Ray

Sorry… that was “I wouldn’t say… “

Alan the Brit

BTW, no mention of the failed CO2 study satellite on main news, but it is on their website. No mention of the Antarctic warming on the website but it was on main channels. Clearly it is time for mix ‘n match news stories again!
Lief Svalgaard;-)
What’s the betting this sunspot will fizzle out fast?

So is this a fair dinkum sunspot that can be seen by traditional methods or another sunspeck?

Doesnt the minimum hit at the bottom of the cycle? I realise there are overlaps between cycles but if the last 12 months has seen a declining smoothed and monthly value sunspot number graphically wouldnt that falling curve over the last 12 months indicate we havnt hit minim yet?

C Shannon (22:04:06) :
I think perhaps confusing to some is the idea that Cycles can overlap.
The current idea is that sunspots form from magnetic fields on the surface left over from previous sunspots. These surface fields are carried along by a circulation [just like the Earth’s atmosphere has] from the equator towards the pole, where they sink into the Sun and are carried by the circulation [which nows goes from the pole to the equator to close the loop] back towards the equator. During their journey the fields are twisted and wound up and amplified. Such strong magnetic fields have a tendency to rise so some of the field may get back to the surface again where it collects together into new spots that eventually disperse to provide more field to be carried towards the pole repeating the process. Meanwhile field is still being carried towards the equator at depth, will still be amplified, and will still rise to the surface, but this time at a lower latitude [because it has been carried along by the circulation towards the equator], so the next batch of spots appear closer to the equator, and the next closer yet, the whole belt where the spots occur slowly displacing towards to equator. It take some 17 years for this process to play out [for the spots to reach the equator], and in the meantime fields carried towards the poles will also sink into the Sun to start a new belt starting at high latitude and displacing towards the equator as time goes by. The net result is that you most of the time have two belts, one at a higher latitude than the other, both displacing over the course of 17 years towards the equator before dying [the low latitude one first]. Clearly this whole thing is cyclic and because of the two belts occurring simultaneously we talk about ‘overlapping cycles’.

Alan the Brit (22:45:59) :
What’s the betting this sunspot will fizzle out fast?
probably doing it as we speak…
twawki (22:50:01) :
So is this a fair dinkum sunspot that can be seen by traditional methods or another sunspeck? more like a low contrast speck. It has lived long enough to get a NOAA number [1013] so is ‘legit’.
twawki (22:53:31) :
Doesnt the minimum hit at the bottom of the cycle? I realise there are overlaps between cycles but if the last 12 months has seen a declining smoothed and monthly value sunspot number graphically wouldnt that falling curve over the last 12 months indicate we havnt hit minim yet?
The smoothed number is 6.5 months behind. Other indicators point to an upturn, so minimum is probably behind us [by perhaps ~6 months], see e.g. http://www.leif.org/research/TSI-SORCE-2008-now.png

crosspatch

The notion has come up that many of these sun specks would have gone unnoticed many years ago. I think I might have a way of testing that notion. I believe there were observers who would, at regular intervals, sketch the surface of the sun and make a drawing as photography had not yet been invented. A simple test would be to go back through these drawings and see if there are any drawings with only a single speck or see if any of these speckles are present in drawings with larger spots.

crosspatch

It would seem that the Royal Astronomical Society Library archives would be the place to look for 19th century sunspot drawings.
http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~obs/resource2.html
Maybe someday they will put them online.

evanjones

Nah, I think it’s a birdhouse.
(That’s an in joke. You had to be there.)

evanjones

Better call the curator to check. Can’t rely on those Google Sun images . . .

evanjones

Or send a camera.

evanjones

Location provided by curator:
C24 located c. 267,83435 m.
from salamader to NW, c. 345,678 m.
from inferno to south. Polarity
confirmed by furnace personnel.

evanjones

Like I say, you had to be there.

crosspatch (23:22:38) :
It would seem that the Royal Astronomical Society Library archives would be the place to look for 19th century sunspot drawings.
How about some 18th drawings:
http://www.leif.org/research/Staudacher-1.pdf

evanjones

Where’s the plasma gauge? Is there an evap pan?
(Why do they site them so close to the equator? They should follow their own 10,000 km. rule. )

Lance

If I’d only paid more attention or found out sooner about these things that are called “sunspecks” that only appear like a few times every a year.
Some OLD weird science publication I read waaay back in the past said “there were large amounts of sunspots from the sun at one time”.
Crazy talk, the sun’s energy is always the same, no matter where it is.
Who can question that CO2 is so strong now, it’s bringing down our rockets, turning heat to freezing and destroy the sunspot sphere of the sun.
Oh the humanity!
Truth is, natural Co2 comes in from the atmosphere at a steady rate, just like carbon 14 and rain from nuclei(or salt), all depending on the influence of gases from the sun/galactic forcing entering our atmosphere.

My research also suggests SC24 should begin to ramp up….but it also says, dont expect anything like Dikpati or Hathaway might predict. A figure of 50SSN might be more likely.

Tim Channon

I posted this a couple of days ago.
http://www.gpsl.net/climate/data/TSI_2009-02-24a.png
It is the tail end of the TSI (Total Solar Irradiance) satellite data (http://lasp.colorado.edu/sorce/index.htm).
This satellite is too new to have seen a whole solar cycle and so no-one knows what a solar minimum looks like.
If a more complete trace would help I should be able to do something.

jmrSudbury

If Solar Cycle 24 did start in late June 2008, which is 6.5 months after the first sunspot in January 2008, then the cycle seems to be starting really slowly. The NOAA solar progression graph’s amplitude is constantly being pushed back and sometimes even lowered.
http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/SolarCycle/index.html
John M Reynolds

Has anybody been keeping a record of SC24 sunspots by hemisphere? Are most spots occurring in the north?

klausb

Geoff,
there are files with spots seperated by hemisphere..
SIDC:
http://sidc.oma.be/DATA/index.html
see daysssnv0.dat, monssnns.dat, readme.dat
Klaus

Dell Hunt, Michigan

I doubt that this spot would have been detected using the same technology available during the Maunder or Dalton minimums.
So perhaps the Maunder and Dalton minumums really had a few miniscule sunspots undectectable with the instruments at the time. So to compare our numbering using current technology, with the numbers recorded centuries ago, may not be an accurate comparison.
Kind of goes back to the old adage “If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is there to hear it, does it make a sound?”
If miniscule sunspots occured during the Maunder and Dalton Minimums, but technology didn’t exist to detect them, does that really mean they didn’t happen?

klausb

Geoff,
oops, readme.txt ist the right name for the readme file.
Too, there is a graph north vs. south:
ftp://omaftp.oma.be/dist/astro/sidcdata/wnosuf.png

evanjones (23:36:27) :
> Like I say, you had to be there.
Sorry I missed it. Next time please send me an invitation. My life (such as it is) is incomplete!

Late breaking news from The Register:
I commissioned a translation:
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/02/25/jstor_climate_report_translation/

Japanese scientists have made a dramatic break with the UN and Western-
backed hypothesis of climate change in a new report from its Energy
Commission.
Three of the five researchers disagree with the UN’s IPCC view that
recent warming is primarily the consequence of man-made industrial
emissions of greenhouse gases. Remarkably, the subtle and nuanced
language typical in such reports has been set aside.
One of the five contributors compares computer climate modelling to
ancient astrology. Others castigate the paucity of the US ground
temperature data set used to support the hypothesis, and declare that
the unambiguous warming trend from the mid-part of the 20th Century
has ceased.
The report by Japan Society of Energy and Resources (JSER) is
astonishing rebuke to international pressure, and a vote of confidence
in Japan’s native marine and astronomical research.

jack mosevich

Alan the Brit: I saw that BBC segment too. There were as you say many pronouncement about a crisis coming and warming in the Antactic but no kind of evidence was shown. Just a few potiticos and a reporter coming out of a tent. Pretty lame for a BBC segment.

deadwood

Leif:
Thanks for your input. Some folks get a bit carried away and your comments help bring readers back to reality.

Steve M.

Geoff,
Seems like there should be a butterfly graph out there somewhere for that.

mark wagner

I think just two SH spots. 994 and 1009. There has been at least one “ambiguous” spot that was difficult to tell (was close to the equator, which would tend to indicate 23 but magnetic signature was inconclusive).

Well the new sunspot is all but gone. Another short lived spot (barly more than a spec realy). I’m still not convinced that SC24 is starting yet.
PS OT what is up with Bob Barker? I think he has gone a little crazy in the head.

Vinny

Wouldn’t it be interesting to find out if the period 1700-1830 was riddled with sunspecs.

Leon Brozyna

@Leif Svalgaard (23:01:43) :
Alan the Brit (22:45:59) :
What’s the betting this sunspot will fizzle out fast?
probably doing it as we speak…

Looks to be about gone in the latest SOHO image.

anna v

It has really faded by now. Bye bye.

anna v

A new might be coming in the southern hemisphere. large latitude. There is a bright spot in stereo behind http://solarcycle24.com/

Michael Ronayne

See my post on Sunspot changes at SWPC:
SWPC Moves The Goalpost
http://solarcycle24com.proboards106.com/index.cgi?board=general&action=display&thread=482
MIke

Tim Channon (01:58:25) :
This satellite is too new to have seen a whole solar cycle and so no-one knows what a solar minimum looks like.
TSI has been measured by other satellites since 1978.

Ben

For Leif or other observers of Old Sol –
If the RC Theory and the SSRC are not on the mark, then please help to clarify the impacts of the various solar changes on climate, if you would please.
What if any current theories are more mainstream, which tie Climate Change to Solar Events? Are there a handful of major Solar-Climate Change theories for which data is being collected and analyzed?
Are there credible theories which predict a coming cooler climate,
based upon theories or events not tied to CO2?
Are the theories tied to specific solar changes or to other specific changes outside of our solar system?
I know there are many complexities that are not easily covered in a fine site like this. However, for those who want a general score sheet listing of the major players – the heavy hitters so-to-speak – that may make a difference, perhaps commentors could supply an overview list? Maybe this could be part of another main WUWT article, if there are appropriate inputs.
Thanks in advance for any inputs.

HasItBeen4YearsYet?

SUNSPOTS
Ok, I’ve searched a number of sites for a count of sunspot vs time, identified by cycle. I haven’t found one yet, though they surely must exist?
What I have found is that a “sunspot number” isn’t a count of individual visible solar disturbances. It’s a number calculated according to the formula… R=k (10g+s),

where R is the sunspot number; g is the number of sunspot groups on the solar disk; s is the total number of individual spots in all the groups; and k is a variable scaling factor (usually <1) that accounts for observing conditions and the type of telescope (binoculars, space telescopes, etc.). Scientists combine data from lots of observatories — each with its own k factor — to arrive at a daily value.
http://spaceweather.com/glossary/sunspotnumber.html

So, if I read that correctly, a “single” small spot would, with k and g equal to 1, give the sunspot number of eleven, not one.
The other thing is that when I see tabulations of “sunspot number” it seems to be calculated from data on ALL solar “spots,” without regard for which cycle they are a part of.
While that is probably not news to the majority of you, it was to me, as was the fact that I can nowhere find where anyone seperately graphs sunspot no., vs time by cycle no. which is surprising to me. Is it that since it isn’t considered important beyond the chaotic transition phase, and contains no information that can be fit by current theory, so it is ignored?
…which brings me to my point, which is…
Does anyone have an embarrassingly obvious source that I should have been able to find myself, where that information is available?
Thanks

Ben (08:56:09) :
If the RC Theory and the SSRC are not on the mark, then please help to clarify the impacts of the various solar changes on climate, if you would please.
These are big questions and many people are not quite rational about them [politics, atrology, etc]
What if any current theories are more mainstream, which tie Climate Change to Solar Events?
There are no mainstream theories.
Are there a handful of major Solar-Climate Change theories for which data is being collected and analyzed?
No, but solar and atmospheric data are being collected as a matter of course. Some fringe theories [cosmic rays, etc] claim they are taking special data, but they have gone quiet of late.
Are there credible theories which predict a coming cooler climate, based upon theories or events not tied to CO2?
Not that are tied to the Sun, there are some ocean circulation theories. I don’t know how credible they are.
Are the theories tied to specific solar changes or to other specific changes outside of our solar system?
lots and lots, but nothing credible.
Thanks in advance for any inputs.
You may get an avalanche of pet theories pushing this or that, ranging from Venus-Saturn syzygies to galactic spiral arms and dark clouds.

squidly

Is it gone? I cannot really make out anything but a spec, wait, I wiped my monitor and the spec disappeared.
A question (as I am not very knowledgeable about solar activity), has SC24 actually started yet? Also, has SC23 actually ended yet?
Thank you to anyone who can simply answer these 2 questions for me as I don’t really have a very good understanding of how one cycle ends and another begins.
Thanks!

I can still see it in the latest image (12.48 UT), looks like an Bxo type.