SOHO back up and running – didn't miss anything, sun still blank

The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) satellite is back in operation after some required downtime to keep it operating.

Alas, it didn’t miss anything, the sun remains spotless.

SOHO_082109

From Spaceweather.com

According to NOAA sunspot counts, the longest stretch of spotless suns during the current solar minimum was 52 days in July, August and Sept. of 2008. The current spate of blank suns is putting that record in jeopardy. There have been no sunspots for almost 42 days and there are none in the offing. Deep solar minimum continues.

Spotless Days

Current Stretch: 42 days

2009 total: 184 days (79%)

Since 2004: 695 days

Typical Solar Min: 485 days

There’s some contention over that claim, as WUWT readers may recall that SIDC in Belgium last year retroactively counted a sunspeck from a drawing by Catainia observatory, nullifying the stretch of sunspotless days in August 2008. NOAA’s SWPC appears not to recognize that sunspeck and so their claim is for a 52 day stretch.

Will SIDC pull another sunspeck stunt this August?  I’m sure they are “poreing” over the sketches now.

Joe D’Aleo puts this current stretch in perspective:

Today, Thursday, August 20th marked the 41st straight day without a sunspot, one of the longest stretches this solar minimum.

image

In fact it rises into 10th place among all spotless periods since 1849 (first table here). The total number of spotless days this transition from cycle 23 to 24 is now 694 rapidly approaching the approximate number leading into cycle 15 in the early 1900s (below, enlarged here).

image

We have had 183 spotless days this year (79% of the days). We are in the top 20 years in 17th place. We will very likely rapidly rise up the list in upcoming weeks and rival 2008’s 265 days and likely end in the top 5 years. 2007, 2008, 2009 will only have 1911, 1912, 1913 in the top 20 as string of 3 per transition (below, enlarged here).

image

The cycle minimum probably was December, 2008. January 2009 13 month average came up a bit due to slight bump in activity in June and July but if August should end up sunspotless and September low, we could have a double bottom. The 12.7 years assuming December 2008 was longest in two centuries (below, enlarged here).

image

You can see on this chart, by 13 years after the solar minimum year, most of the last 5 cycles already had recovered, in one case already to the solar max (below, enlarged here).

image

This cycle has continued to decline in the solar irradiance, solar flux, sunspot number and geomagnetic activity after 10 years. On the following chart produced by Anthony Watts, you can see the Total Solar Irradiance declining whereas the prior cycle was rebounding(below, enlarged here).

image

Clilverd et al 2006 suggests using a statistical analysis of the various cycles (11, 22, 53, 88, 105, 213, and 426 years) shows the next two cycles will likely be very quiet much like those of 200 years ago in the early 1800s, the so called Dalton Minimum, the time of Dickens (with snows and cold in London like last winter) (below, enlarged here).

image

See what David Archibald shows what the result might be if Clilverd is correct here. Some have not ruled out an even stronger Maunder like Minimum. See more complete PDF here.

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VG

So good o’l D Archibald was right. Where are those who said he was wrong? The silence is deafening….

crosspatch

But I am curious why Leif’s site shows are recent sunspot here while I don’t see any such spot listed at spaceweather.

Mr. Alex

“Will SIDC pull another sunspeck stunt this August? I’m sure they are “poreing” over the sketches now.”
Even the most desperate of searches among all the images produced in the last 21 days will yield nothing. Solar Minimum lives.

thanks goodd

Jimmy Haigh

I don’t know what the spotless sun means in the grand scheme of things but I bet that so many computer screens have never been so spotless before either. A new proxy for ‘The Mann’ perhaps?

Rhys Jaggar

What odds on neither the NE Passage NOR the NW passage being navigable this summer?
What odds the arctic ice minimum extent paralleling 2005 i.e. recoiling from 2007 local minimum?
What, if any, evidence exists concerning cumulative effect of an El Nino and a concomitant solar minimum?
What evidence, if any, exists concerning long-term oceanic cooling (15 – 20 years) and weak solar activity concomitantly?
What progress, if any, to report on the agreement of a global rural temperature measurement network to eliminate UHIs from the ‘global’ ‘temperature record’?

Curiousgeorge

There is no end of predictions being made, most of which will be wrong in some respect or another. It will be interesting to see what a year from now looks like.

I am most troubled by the fact that this deep solar minimum is getting minimal coverage in the mainstream media. If it wasn’t for the global warming narrative, this would be front page news. The world may be entering a period of potentially significant and extended cooling and much of the mainstream media refuses to report on it. If cooling leads to crop failures and food shortages, mainstream media outlets and their editors will be culpable for misleading the public and delaying study and preparations for this eventuality. Several editors, especially at the BBC, might even get to see the inside of a prison cell…

Alan the Brit

Lets hope it keeps going as this Test series is a good’n & certainly seems to be helping us out at cricket!
Now what was it Prof Mike Lockwood was saying something about no evidence of cooling……….3 poor summers in a row completely against the flow of official information, the first October snow in 74 years, a bad winter that caught the state run Met Office completey off guard, all major long-range forecasts for winter 08/09 north & south were fooled, record cold temps all over the place, forecasts were complety wrong & it appears their computer models clearly have issues predicting long-range weather forecasts, (so what hope global climate) another milder than usual winter forecast/predicted again for 09/10, global cooling for 8 years, have they no shame or are they going for the law of averages again? Yep , I guess that’s no evidence then.

Aelric

If Stacy Stephens spied a septuplet of semiquaver sunspots, how many serendipitous sunspots did Stacy Stephens sight?

Jimmy Haigh

Alan the Brit (09:48:23) :
“Lets hope it keeps going as this Test series is a good’n & certainly seems to be helping us out at cricket! ”
Hear hear! Broad played a blinder there for a Michelle – what a session! 4 wickets for Swann and one for Freddie. This is no flat Oval pitch! I think Broad will end up as one of the great all rounders.
CMJ has been talking about Wilfred Rhodes who used to ‘watch’ cricket long after he went blind. He knew what was happening just by the sound of the bat on the ball. Isn’t it a pity that ‘climate scientists’ and ‘climate modelers’ do not have the same perspicacity?

What is that old saying about a “watched pot?”
Seriously, this has to be taken more seriously than the historical record. Has anyone done a most recent minimum period survey using the detection thresholds available a century plus pervious?

VG (09:15:16) :
So good o’l D Archibald was right. Where are those who said he was wrong? The silence is deafening….

Right about what? I said he was wrong – not about the solar cycle length – but about the 2 deg decline in temperatures. Many, including Leif Svalgaard, were predicting that solar cycle 24 would be weaker than recent solar cycles.
Don’t worry you won’t get silence from me. I’d like to David to tell us how is predicions for Armagh are progressing. I’ve asked the question at least twice but perhaps he’s not seen it.

Ray

Could this be a rare double solar minimum minima?… or is it minima minimum?

UK Sceptic

Robert Coté said:
“What is that old saying about a “watched pot?”
Seriously, this has to be taken more seriously than the historical record. Has anyone done a most recent minimum period survey using the detection thresholds available a century plus pervious?”
I’ve been wondering that myself…

UK Sceptic

Alan the Brit
If our lot don’t do anything stupid the Ashes will be ours…all ours!

peat

This extended solar minimum as well as the current financial crisis are both examples of how the expert consensus was off track in its predictions. It will take more time to see how expert predictions turn out in the case of AGW, but one thing is for sure, the world is going to do this experiment. We will all know the answer in a couple more decades. It is a bonus that our Sun is getting involved in the experiment too. If the solar cycle stays weak, we will see if there can be warming independent of what the Sun is doing.
I am currently a skeptic, but if the temperature goes up significantly in the next decade I will likely convert to the other side. On the other hand, if the temperature stays relatively flat or declines, it becomes harder with each passing year for the AGW experts to excuse the lack of temperature increase as natural variability while pointing to past warming as being unnatural.

Jerker Andersson

The 42 day spotless daus stretch may be inaccurate. there have been a few very small less than 1 day spots that have got a count but there seems to be some disaggreement if they should count.
I think we should do the same with those sunspots that last for less than 1 day the same thing as we did with Pluto, demote them.
I suggest those short lived sunspots that where not observed 100+ years ago as “Dwarf spots”.
Then we will still count them, which we should, but they get their own classification and thus we can easier compare the sunspot data with the past.

Nogw

Here comes the WATTS effect again to be tested!
Rewording the title:
The SUN…is back in operation after some required downtime to keep it operating….
However, as David Archibald said, this will take a bit longer. Interesting times indeed.
Or…Is it CO2 which shines every morning (…not down here-el Nino 1+2 zone-, of course, because of the curse made by Svensmark et al.) 🙂

So now that this article is out, do we have a metric for “average days post article for first return of a sunspot”? IIRC, it’s been between 1/2 day and 2 days… Maybe you need a daily sunspot article so we can warm up a bit! (I’m planting peas and potatoes a bit early, having given up on a significant bean yield and while I’m getting tomatoes at last, they are slow to ripen. Oh, and the “summer squash” has gone all “fall mouldy leaves” on me already; about a month early. Kale and collards doing great, though! They usually get burned in August…)
It will be great fun to see what a Major Minimum 😉 really does. The “warming” of our present thermometer record can not be caused by the sun (the thermometer records do not warm in summer, only in winter… not so the sun…) but I still hold out (slim?) hope that the solar cycle can be tied to minor cyclical changes on a longer time scale. And I certainly expect we will get lots of interesting answers to all sorts of questions from this quiet sun…
http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/08/09/co2-takes-summers-off/
http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/08/05/agw-is-a-thermometer-count-artifact/

Peter Jones

Now that it is reported in Watts Up With That, we should have a new sunspot any day.

Michael

We live in interesting times. Is this a blessing or a curse?

ice2020

This are my data of spotless days for Sidc and Noaa, and i have count them many times, so i’m very sure that the right count is this:
Updated today, 8/21/2009
For Sidc: total days spotless in 2009: 185
total days spotless since 2004: 694
For NOAA: total days spotless in 2009: 186
total days spotless since 2004: 699
This is my link that i update every day: http://daltonsminima.wordpress.com/dati-sole-in-diretta/
Simon from Italy

ice2020

The current stretch is 42 for noaa and 22 for sidc (update 8/21/2009)

Steve M.

crosspatch (09:19:03) :
But I am curious why Leif’s site shows are recent sunspot here while I don’t see any such spot listed at spaceweather.
I was thinking the same thing. 2 small cycle 23 spikes since that big cycle 24 spot went across the Sun. I was thinking there hadn’t been any spots since the last big one. The 2 cycle 23 “sunspots” must have been pretty small and shortlived because the spikes are much smaller than any other on the graph, which I find interesting because I think back to some of the specks that have been counted (maybe not by Leif).

ice2020

the two spots on 23 and 30 july were seen only by Catania…
but Sidc count them…
Then, it is very probable that ‘ll repeat the same situation of the last year, when only Catania saw the spot and agust didn’t finish at 0 because Sidc counts it…
Catania, Catania, Catania…I apologize on behalf of the alls Italians, because for those who do not know, Catania is an Italian observatory …

francisco

SIDC has provisional sunspot counts on July 23 and 30. IOW, they’ve already proactively counted the specks, no need to go back and recount.
http://www.sidc.be/products/ri/

Robert Wykoff

Less than a week to the big 700. Little over a week to go till a full calendar month. When is the hathaway prediction v15.7.0 coming out?

Tom Trezise

Folks. I’m a layman and follow this site regularly. I am fascinated by the postings and learn a great deal, but still frequently get lost in the science. I am indebted to you nonetheless for the education. I have a question that is simplistic and will betray my ignorance, but if someone could help me I’d appreciate it. What is the statistical point at which the solar minimum can be said to have ended and the next cycle begun?

Mike McMillan

Sunners, on whose beach I surf, would like nothing better than a solid link between TSI (or even spots) and climate, but until someone comes up with a clever Mannomatic RegEM PCA teleconnection, it just ain’t there.
Warmer is better, but if warmer means cap’n tax, I’ll go with cooler. Against all Leif’s logic, that dull-as-a-piece-of-grey-linoleum magnetogram gives me hope. Welcome bask back SOHO.

Mr. Alex

“crosspatch (09:19:03) :
But I am curious why Leif’s site shows are recent sunspot here while I don’t see any such spot listed at spaceweather.”
I am not surprised. Leif needs to show that his predictions will be correct.
The reason that you don’t see this on spaceweather is because there was no spot.
It was a tiny SC 23 magnetic signature that would not have been counted in 2001 solar max or even in 2006 when solar min began; let alone 200 years ago.
Once again bias has infiltrated science.
None of these tiny tims would have been counted had this minimum been “normal”.
Fact is, that this minimum is unusual and regardless of whether the pseudo-spots of the last two years have been counted fairly or not; SC 23 is now nearly 12.7 years long and thus the longest in 200 years.
Grand minimum looks more likely to occur with each passing day.
Remember:
1.In 2005 they said “We expect SC 24 to pick up at the end of 2006 and be record setting.”
2.In 2006 they said “We expect SC 24 to pick up by 2007.”
3.In 2007 they said “This minimum is not unusual, activity will pick up by March 2008.”
4.In March 2008 they said : “SC 23 has returned but SC 24 will pick up by the end of 2008”.
5.In November 2008 (International sunspot number 4.1) they said: “SC 24 has finally begun. We were right.”
6.Then December 2008 had an international sunspot number of 0.8, they said: “December was quiet, but minimum is over and SC 24 will be up and running by mid 2009.”
7.On 6th July 2009 a huge fuss was made about “the biggest spot in 2 years”, which didn’t make sense because the SC 23 sunspots of late March 2008 were much bigger.
8. It is now August 21st. The sunspot number so far, is a grand total of… Zero (0), but apparently Solar Minimum is over.
There were 3 pores in Late July/Early August and although invisible to most (clean) telescopes, this ‘clearly indicates’ that SC 24 is now ramping up.

Referring to my favorite graph…
http://users.telenet.be/j.janssens/Spotless/Spotless.html#Evolution
…we’re now above the SC16-23 two sigma line, so we’re definitely not in Kansas, anymore. We are, however, still within the one sigma envelope for SC10-15, so we’re not in OZ, either. Yet.
Keep watching the skies.

ok, no sunspots. then the “climate” should put up or shut up and get cold. I know it might take a while for the sun to truly affect our temperature and climate. But for the past 6 weeks according to UAH Channel 5 we continue to be very much above the 20 year average. Most of last month we were above the 20 year highs.
http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/
channel 5, draw graph.

AnonyMoose

an even stronger Maunder like Minimum

A stronger minimum. I know what you mean, but perhaps we need better phrasing.
* Deeper solar depression
* Weaker sun
* Reduced sunlight
* Overly calm sun
* Weaker solar warming
* Colder
* Indoor summer season
* Even further below normal

AnonyMoose

Tom Trezise (11:09:04) – We don’t know when the new cycle begins until after we see increased activity on the Sun. From the magnetic polarity on sunspots we know that some of the new cycle has begun, but overall activity is still too low to confirm that the next cycle has started.
After all, if the Sun remains as quiet as it is for several more years and then a new cycle begins with the same magnetic polarity as the present cycle — it would generally be agreed that the cycle which we’re waiting for effectively did not happen. We simply can’t know the new cycle has begun until the Sun already has increased its measurable activity.

ked5

Just The Facts (09:47:45) :
I am most troubled by the fact that this deep solar minimum is getting minimal coverage in the mainstream media. If it wasn’t for the global warming narrative, this would be front page news. The world may be entering a period of potentially significant and extended cooling and much of the mainstream media refuses to report on it. If cooling leads to crop failures and food shortages, mainstream media outlets and their editors will be culpable for misleading the public and delaying study and preparations for this eventuality.
~~~~
the MSM won’t be nearly as culpable (though perhaps their crediblity will finally be destroyed) as James Hansen and Al the Goracle, or the various governments that are *pushing* the AGW lie.

Lance

Damn SUV’s driving around on the sun, spitting out all that co2. It has stopped the sun from working. We better tax it….
On a serious note, many have stated that these are interesting times. They certainly are, and if that sun doesn’t wake up, we could start the slow decent in temps, and the news media will be scrambling over each other to state they were the first to bring this to our attention…..

Evan Jones

According to NOAA sunspot counts, the longest stretch of spotless suns during the current solar minimum was 52 days in July, August and Sept. of 2008. The current spate of blank suns is putting that record in jeopardy.
He better come to the plate swinging. God will just throw spitters low and outside to bust up the record. Never fails.

Curiousgeorge

@ Tom Trezise (11:09:04) :
“Folks. I’m a layman and follow this site regularly. I am fascinated by the postings and learn a great deal, but still frequently get lost in the science. I am indebted to you nonetheless for the education. I have a question that is simplistic and will betray my ignorance, but if someone could help me I’d appreciate it. What is the statistical point at which the solar minimum can be said to have ended and the next cycle begun? ”
That’s not a simple question. Depends a great deal on the “statistics” and data that went before, for the past 4.5 billion years, of which we have very fragmentary data. I would suggest that you conduct your own statistical analysis using your own data and assumptions, and/or trusted data from known sources. To help you in that, I’ll refer you to this book by Edwin Jaynes “PROBABILITY THEORY:
THE LOGIC OF SCIENCE” http://omega.albany.edu:8008/JaynesBook.html , and to this site for more of a primer in “Orthodox” methods of practical data collection and analysis. http://www.statsoft.com/textbook/stathome.html .
In addition to that, there are a number of physical laws that pertain that you’ll have to research and study, including nuclear physics. If anyone gives a point estimate of the probability of the “shift” I recommend that you ignore them.

Nogw

Mr. Alex (11:22:03) : Your reasoning confirms that those scientists are in the pay of Big Al (not Big Oil), trying desesperately to demonstrate that 2+2 equals 1.5, or “it is not the sun stupid deniers; it’s CO2, our God, which shines above”

Nogw

Hope Copenhaguen will frost…

Frank Mosher

John Finn. In the past you have indicated that you are an expert at predictions. The UAH lower troposphere anomaly peaked in April 1998 at .770. When exactly will that be exceeded? Thanks. fm

Evan Jones

The current stretch is 42 for noaa and 22 for sidc (update 8/21/2009)
What, it was ruled an error?

Chuck L

With virtually no sunspots, it’s only a matter of time before the AGW’ers come up with a sunspot hockey stick graph. 🙂

Nogw

SIDC= Solar Impaired Devotees Carbon

Gary Hladik

Michael (10:46:45) : “We live in interesting times. Is this a blessing or a curse?”
Yes. 🙂

Mike G in Corvallis

There were 3 pores in Late July/Early August and although invisible to most (clean) telescopes, this ‘clearly indicates’ that SC 24 is now ramping up.
Has anyone here ever been on a snipe hunt?

Gerry

crosspatch (09:19:03) :
But I am curious why Leif’s site shows are recent sunspot here while I don’t see any such spot listed at spaceweather.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I can’t find the last two sunspots Leif shows. See
http://www2.nict.go.jp/y/y223/sept/swcenter/sunspot.html
Did these two cycle 23 spots each rapidly come and go on the backside, Leif?

Robert Wood

crosspatch (09:19:03) :
But I am curious why Leif’s site shows are recent sunspot here while I don’t see any such spot listed at spaceweather.
I enquired of Leif about this and his reply was:
The official NOAA number will always be 11 or above. NOAA throws away spots that are too small or don’t last more than 12 hours, or are only seen by one observer. I at times keep those [but at half weight:
you’ll see that the points are at SSN=5 and not 11] if I judge that they were real, e.g. that F10.7 also went up or there was a small magnetic region. They show that there was SOME activity. In order not to confuse them with the official count, I make then only half [or less] the height.
Observatory: ALAMAGORDO
Obs. Time: 18.8 UT Seeing: Fair RSN: ///
No. Location Type Area Number of Spot
19 N16E22 Bxo(L) 10 2

Fred from Canuckistan . . .

So how exactly does the continuous rise in planetary CO2 rates cause the Sun to go dormant ? Thereis such obvious causality here . . .
What part of Al Gore’s film, book or training addresses this phenomenon ? When will the IPCC have a Conference to discuss this ?