The Sun perks up some real spots

There’s no guessing about these. They aren’t anemic sunspecks that may or may not have been visible a couple of centuries ago. They are the real deal.  Sunspot group 1026 on the lower left edge and newly formed group 1027 above the equator. While a couple of spots aren’t yet enough to end the solar drought we’ve seen, they are encouraging.

Image: MDI from SOHO

Image: MDI from SOHO

All of the spots are about the size of the Earth. You may recall that group 1026 was first, ahem, “spotted” by the stereo behind system which we covered last week on WUWT. The two groups have the potential to produce some solar flares.  Group 1026 produced a few B-Class solar flares, 1027 has been quiet. Here’s the SWPC report defining both regions:

:Product: Solar Region Summary

:Issued: 2009 Sep 23 0031 UTC

# Prepared jointly by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA,

# Space Weather Prediction Center and the U.S. Air Force.

#

Joint USAF/NOAA Solar Region Summary

SRS Number 266 Issued at 0030Z on 23 Sep 2009

Report compiled from data received at SWO on 22 Sep

I.  Regions with Sunspots.  Locations Valid at 22/2400Z

Nmbr Location  Lo  Area  Z   LL   NN Mag Type

1026 S30E54   217  0030 Cso  09   02 Beta

1027 N24E32   239  0040 Dro  05   04 Beta

IA. H-alpha Plages without Spots.  Locations Valid at 22/2400Z Sep

Nmbr  Location  Lo

None

II. Regions Due to Return 23 Sep to 25 Sep

Nmbr Lat    Lo

None

Source: http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpdir/latest/SRS.txt

The 10.7 cm solar radio flux took a jump to 75 today, it may go higher as 1026/1027 continues to grow. It remains to be seen whether this is just a temporary energetic burst, with a lapse back to spotlessness, or if it heralds a new more active period of solar cycle 24.

:Product: Solar Region Summary

:Issued: 2009 Sep 23 0031 UTC

# Prepared jointly by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA,

# Space Weather Prediction Center and the U.S. Air Force.

#

Joint USAF/NOAA Solar Region Summary

SRS Number 266 Issued at 0030Z on 23 Sep 2009

Report compiled from data received at SWO on 22 Sep

I.  Regions with Sunspots.  Locations Valid at 22/2400Z

Nmbr Location  Lo  Area  Z   LL   NN Mag Type

1026 S30E54   217  0030 Cso  09   02 Beta

1027 N24E32   239  0040 Dro  05   04 Beta

IA. H-alpha Plages without Spots.  Locations Valid at 22/2400Z Sep

Nmbr  Location  Lo

None

II. Regions Due to Return 23 Sep to 25 Sep

Nmbr Lat    Lo

None
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Roger Knights

It would be funny if those spots were one day to clump and align so as to produce a “happy face” on the sun.

David Hoyle

Oooo … I can feel the heat already… Don’t worry Al … you can start claiming a warming planet again soon…

Justin Sane

If a sun spot remains on the face of the sun for a week does it count as one spot, 7 spots, or something else entirely? When multiple spots appear do they count as multiple spots or just one group, i.e. 1027 above is one group but it has 2 spots?

John F. Hultquist

“All of the spots are about the size of the Earth.”
Which the following image confirms:
http://umbra.nascom.nasa.gov/eit/images/Sun_and_earth.jpg

rbateman

MDI Continuum 20090922 23:26 UT Measurements.
1027 – Umbra – 5 x 10E6
– Penumbra – 117 x 10E6
– Whole Spot – 122 x 10E6
1026 – Umbra – 2 x 10E6
– Penumbra – 48 x 10E6
– Whole Spot – 50 x 10E6
White Light Facula – 450 x 10E6

Its about dang time. Now lets see some real numbers up on the board. Note that the Team’s fellow travellers at NASA were predicting we’d be at solar max by now. There’s a long way to go for that to happen, or is this solar max?

rbateman

The Sun is going to have to do better than 1 week of spots in 10 weeks.
I remain skeptical of any implications of ramp.

\o/ I hope I don’t freeze at work this winter. On the other hand I hope it doesn’t get too warm til January after the U.N. Danish group hug at the end of the year. ^^
I still not hopeful we can avoid the political Armageddon that is about to happen next year as the AGW forces become more integrated into our daily lives with their plans on global (control) governance.
Back to the sun, lets say a prayer for Henrik Svensmark’s cloud experiment and the final death of AGW >:)

p.g.sharrow "PG"

SOLAR MAX;
This is it, is that all there is?
Big AL needs a lot more then this
I am curious as to why the spots seem to tend to hide on the back side, somewhat out of sight, are they bashful ?

I read from David Archibald that there is a lag of about one year from the time of sunspots activity (or inactivity) to feel its impact on the Earth’s climate. The solar wind travels far away into space and push away some galactic cosmic rays. When solar wind is weak (which also corresponds to few or zero sunspots), more cosmic rays reach the Earth’s atmosphere, more low-lying clouds, global cooling.
Is my understanding of Dr. Archibald’s explanation correct?

jeroen

why does it say
SunSpots: 26

Richard111

Is there a tutorial for the Solar-Terrestrial Data on the right of this page?
How come 26 spots already?

Jean Meeus

Justin Sane (21:45:11) :
If a sun spot remains on the face of the sun for a week does it count as one spot, 7 spots, or something else entirely? When multiple spots appear do they count as multiple spots or just one group, i.e. 1027 above is one group but it has 2 spots?
What counts is the situation at a given day. Also, what is most important is the number of sunspot *groups*. Solar “activity” can be given either as the number of groups, or as the so-called Wolf number Zurich sunspot number). The latter is the “sunspot relative number” R introduced by Wolf in the 19th century. The formula for R is R = k*(10*g+f), where g is the number of groups, and f (from the German “Fleck” = spot) is the number of individual spots. One isolated spot counts as a “group”, hence 11 (= 1 group + 1 spot). The factor k has been introduced to remove systematic differences between values determined by different observers.
Neglecting the factor k (that is, putting it equal to 1), on the SOHO MDI image of Sept. 22 at 23:26, we see one group with 2 spots (1 big and 1 very small), and the newer group with 4 spots (2 big and 2 small ones). So the Wolf number is 10*2 + 6 = 26.

O/T But does anyone know why those Danish thermometers are twitching on the DMI Polar graph?

tallbloke

Hey Leif, looks like my prediction of a month or two ago about the cycle getting going in a month or two is coming to pass!

Tenuc

Typical. You spend all this time hanging around waiting for one, then two come along together!
Let’s hope these spots hang around for a bit, rather than fading out like previous ones have.

Ed Zuiderwijk

Are sun spots like London buses?
You wait for ages and then several turn up at the same time …

el gordo

As a layman its hard to fathom solar physics and the effect of solar minimum on our climate.
http://www.solen.info/solar/cycl3.html
In the northern hemisphere winter of 1779-80 the US suffered one of its worst winters on record. The two winters between 1783-86 saw the Thames freeze over and again in 1788-89 there was a Frost Fair on the river.
This all happened before the Dalton Minimum. Solar cycle 3 began in June 1775 with a smoothed sunspot number of 7.2 and ended in September 1784.

Mr. Alex

Whilst these two new regions are indeed welcome, I am still suspicious of ramp up having truly started yet. If you take a look at the SC 4/5 minimum transition (Dalton begins) : http://www.robertb.darkhorizons.org/DeepSolarMin.htm
Notice that activity from August 1798 to May 1799 appeared to be ramping up well, however a crash occurred in August 1799 (= false start) causing the smoothed curve to dip slightly ( although not lower than in May 1798 ).
The current minimum is fairly identical (see comparison graph) given that similar crashes have occurred (Dec 08, March 09, August 09).
Although it is still to early to determine if a double minimum is occurring, it is possible that we may see more crashes and a slow ramp up to smoothed max +- 70.

david alan

I think its a beautiful sight to behold. 2 emerging sunspots, one in each hemisphere. Only thing missing is a S.C. 23 sunspot, emerging in the middle. Though I doubt one will emerge, and these two will surely fade in a few days. That has been the trend.
Have we seen the last of S.C. 23 sunspots? Its been some months since we’ve seen one. Its been 13 some years since the last minimum and it was bound to come to an end, regardless how NOAA or SIDC record this. I’m sure debates will arise regarding minimum this go around just as the one in ’96. This solar minimum has frustrated David Hathaway & Co. to no end, much like the stooges over at NSIDC over Arctic Sea Ice. The Sun and the Earth just will not cooperate with their global warming ( sorry, climate change) agenda. I can only speculate that both the Sun and the Earth have done enough minimizing to thwart their efforts regarding alarmism.
What I would like to see now is some predictions regarding total spotless day numbers for this minimum, leading up to the next solar maximum. Can the spotless day figures reach 900 or greater. I think it has a 80% chance or greater to do so. Could someone here in the WUWT community work on that? I would love to see something along those lines.
-David Alan-

rbateman

Mr. Alex (01:29:37) :
The scene is like Charlie Brown trusting Lucy one more time to hold the place-kick.

RhudsonL

They need to be told at the UN.

el gordo (01:27:02) :
As a layman its hard to fathom solar physics and the effect of solar minimum on our climate.

Don’t worry – some of the ‘solar physicists’ seem a bit confused also.
http://www.solen.info/solar/cycl3.html
In the northern hemisphere winter of 1779-80 the US suffered one of its worst winters on record. The two winters between 1783-86 saw the Thames freeze over and again in 1788-89 there was a Frost Fair on the river.

Your anecdotal evidence is supported by several long term records. Temperatures were declining long before the Dalton Minimum cycles. Few places actually experienced cooling during the Dalton. It’s a bit like the “1970s cooling period”. There wasn’t one. The cooling began in the 1940s and had pretty much bottomed out by the mid-1950s. Of course this doesn’t fit in with the solar cycle activity theory. SC19 which was the strongest cycle recorded began in ~1954 and ended in ~1964. SC20, the ‘weak’ cycle, ended in ~1976 just about the time the late 20th century warming began.
This all happened before the Dalton Minimum. Solar cycle 3 began in June 1775 with a smoothed sunspot number of 7.2 and ended in September 1784.
Correct. If solar cycle activity (sunspots) is the main driver of climate and if the current sequence of cycles is mimicking the Dalton period, then current global temperatures should be below 1970s levels. There certainly shouldn’t be discussion on the possibility of record high UAH anomalies as was taking place recently on Lucia’s blog.

tallbloke (00:47:44) :
Hey Leif, looks like my prediction of a month or two ago about the cycle getting going in a month or two is coming to pass!
If you say every day it will rain tomorrow, sooner or later it will.

Talk of a return of stronger solar activity it a bit premature. three of the five longest periods since 1849 without a sunspot have occured in the last several years. If you do not count the small microdot sunspot of 20 days ago we went over 70 days in a row without any sunspots, which is the second longest period since 1849 without them.
Solar activity just doesnt change on a dime from what I see.

Mr. Alex

Sunspot 1026 appears to be fading slightly…

Mr. Alex

Could anyone inform me where I could find the monthly international sunspot numbers for the Layman’s Sunspot Count, ( e.g. July International was 3.5 , but in Layman’s? ). Thanks in advance.

Patrick Davis

Talking about stars, this puts us into perspective IMO;
http://www.tigerdroppings.com/rant/messagetopic.asp?p=7556769
Odd named link, but according to my “anti-net-ware”, it’s clean.

Leon Brozyna

Last night 1026 had a couple of spots; this morning the trailing spot has faded. 1027 seems to be holding its own.

Chris Schoneveld

“If you say every day it will rain tomorrow, sooner or later it will.”
Come on Leif, be a good sport, and give tallbloke some credit, after all he didn’t say this repeatedly as you imply. More interestingly, on what grounds did tallbloke make his prediction. None, I suspect.

Sheffield BM(Smallz79)

O/T Look at this B****t. I hate the Japanese government. My wife is Okinawan, so she aggrees with me. The Japanese are wanting to make an Asian “EU”. Why does everyone want to make a world with one government? That would be the ruin of mankind.
Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2009
Hatoyama takes lead on CO 2 cuts
Beijing, New Delhi seen making big concessions
Compiled from AP, Kyodo
UNITED NATIONS — In the highest-level conference yet on climate change, 100 world leaders gathered at the United Nations on Tuesday to decide how to start an energy revolution.
In his first U.N. speech since taking office, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama pledged that Japan will cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020 from 1990 levels.
Hatoyama also called for the establishment of an international mechanism offering technological and financial support to developing nations as part of efforts to tackle global warming, dubbed the “Hatoyama Initiative.”
He said his government is determined to attain the 25 percent target by mobilizing “all possible measures,” including the creation of a domestic emissions trading system and a program to buy renewable energy at fixed prices, and the possible establishment of a tax to pay for steps against global warming.
However, Hatoyama also stressed that Japan is not committed to achieving the 25 percent goal unless all major emitters agree on ambitious targets as well.
Hatoyama underscored the need to “strategically increase” the amount of funds to help developing countries deal with threats linked to climate change because they are often required to deal with the residual effects of warming caused by other countries.
As a general rule, Hatoyama proposed that all industrialized nations should contribute “a considerable amount of additional funding from the private and public sectors” to help developing countries.
Meanwhile, the most substantial changes were expected to come from what the presidents of China, India and other major economies spelled out for billions of people and their households, businesses and farms in the decades ahead.
Those leaders were expected to make more ambitious commitments than the U.S. leader, whose hands are still tied by Congress.
“We are asking developing countries to do as we say, not as we did,” said Ed Miliband, Britain’s climate secretary, whose nation has pledged to cut carbon emissions by more than a third from 1990 levels by 2020, and said 40 percent of Britain’s electricity by then would come from renewable sources.
Tuesday’s U.N. summit and the G20 summit in Pittsburgh at the end of this week are intended to add pressure on the United States and other rich nations to commit to cuts and provide the billions of dollars needed to help developing nations stop cutting down their forests or burning coal.
China and the U.S. each account for about 20 percent of all the world’s greenhouse gas pollution created when coal, natural gas or oil are burned. The European Union is next, generating 14 percent, followed by Russia and India, which each account for 5 percent.
Chinese President Hu Jintao was expected to lay out new plans for extending China’s energy-saving programs and targets for reducing the “intensity” of its carbon pollution — carbon dioxide emission increases as related to economic growth.
China has been cutting energy intensity for the past four years and was expected to unveil a new carbon intensity goal in a five-year plan for development until 2015. China already has said it is seeking to use 15 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.
India, too, was also expected to draw some of the spotlight for laying out plans for the fifth-biggest contributor of global warming gases to bump up fuel efficiency, burn coal more cleanly, preserve forests and grow more organic crops.
The U.S., under President George W. Bush’s administration, long cited inaction by China and India as the reason for rejecting mandatory cuts in greenhouse gases.
Tuesday’s meeting was intended to rally momentum for crafting a new global climate pact at Copenhagen in December. Bush rejected the 1997 Kyoto Protocol for cutting global emissions of warming gases, which expires at the end of 2012, based on its impact on the U.S. economy and exclusion of major developing nations such as China and India, both major polluters.
But neither China nor India say they will agree to binding greenhouse gas cuts like those envisioned in a new climate pact to start in 2013. They question why they should, when not even the U.S. will agree to join rich nations in scaling back their pollution.
The EU is urging other rich countries to match its pledge to cut emissions by 20 percent from 1990 levels by 2020, and has said it would cut up to 30 percent if other rich countries follow suit.

rbateman (22:45:41) :

The Sun is going to have to do better than 1 week of spots in 10 weeks.
I remain skeptical of any implications of ramp.

I agree – from recent activity, this is as much a signal of a another spike as it is of a ramp.
Over the last several months of visual observations, we’ve only had spikes.
Over the last few decades, a ramp should’ve started a couple years ago.
Over the last couple of centuries, it’s clear that past solar forecasting has left something to be desired. (And present forecasting techniques are in a testing phase.)
For now, let’s just be happy that Bill Livingston (and all other solar observers) have s couple spots that are easy to analyze.
I’d pull out my telescope except that it’s cloudy today.

Kum Dollison

I’ve tried to convince myself that there is something to the whole “Svensmark/Sunspot” thing; but it’s hard to do. Every time you get down close you end up trying to jam things into places where they really don’t fit.
Right now, I’m much more interested in finding someone who can tell me what the SOI is going to do.

Sheffield BM(Smallz79)

O/T
Also look at the hate the world has towards American progress, prosperity and most of all freedom. I am stationed here on Okinawa, so trust me when I say the Japanese government taxes the life out of the people here. The people’s standard of living is way below ours. They cram families into little apartments, rent is very high, electricity is very costly, water is expensive, I can not go to a grocery store here and expect 2000 Yen to buy much( a piece of fruit, piece of bread, and a drink to wash it down). My wife had to pay the equivalent of $2,000 to the Japanese government when she did not even have a job(she was pregnant and stayed home for several months after my son’s birth. There Health Care is cheap it is provided by the government, but me and my wife waited more than an hour in the waiting room for the doctor to see her when she was having strong contractions. But even worse than that, to get my son’s shots and physical check-up it took 4 hours in the waiting area!!!! There was no privacy what so ever all they used was a curtain to separate you from the waiting area the hospitals are dirty and not up to American standards, and none is friendly because thier paychecks are coming from the government. Which by the way the government of Japan pays it’s top RN’s only $2200.00 per month nation wide. I know because my wife is an RN. This goes for all medical practices, unless of course you are paying for cosmetic medical care, believe me you will pay it is very expensive, but atleast you get privacy and a sterile environment.
Learn from my experiences, only free markets and capitalism can promote such high standards that America has. I call it the American standard , and not one of any of the countries I have visited come remotely close to touching the American standard. Any way that was my two cents.

Bill Illis

We didn’t really need to have another Little Ice Age right now so it is good that the Sun is waking up finally.

Rob M.

Ahh… the great U.S of A. where you get to watch ballgames on your Sony T.V.,record your family memories on your Panasonic camcorder and aspire to taking your wife to MickeyD’s in a Lexus.

don rayburg

A couple of you mentioned this is a good thing? Why?

Ken

I’ve been following the GONG far side imagery for quite some time and those images seemed to follow a pattern in which the far side images showed the “plage” regions (i.e. the shaded portions of the images) as increasing & subsiding every week or two. Sunspots seemed to appear predominantly during the increasing part of the cycle (i.e. when the GONG farside images were darkening/dark) and tended to subside when the GONG farside images likewise subsided. See: http://gong.nso.edu/data/farside/
Over the past few weeks, GONG’s farside images seem to still show the same cyclic period…but…they seem much darker at all parts of the weekish cycle (i.e. the more quiescent part of the cycle seems more “active” and the active part seems even more active than before). This suggests to me that solar activity is, finally, picking up with the new cycle & the images presented on the GONG farside website are illustrating this.
Perhaps someone knowledgable can explain what I’m observing?

Pamela Gray

Bill, you know better than that. The difference between the output of the Sun (and I mean all of its components) felt here in the atmosphere we walk and talk in during a typical ice age and during the warmth of the ’98 El Nino is such a tiny fraction. Statements like yours do not help educate the masses that may not have experienced a decent Science background. In fact, I believe it continues to prevent basic understanding of how our planet functions as a climate system.

Mark Wagner

I’ve tried to convince myself that there is something to the whole “Svensmark/Sunspot” thing
Svensmark’s theory relates cloud cover to solar magnetic effects, not spots per se. Sunspots are merely a proxy of overall solar activity, including magnetic activity.

Dan

So if the sun’s activity changes climate, how long does it need to remain inactive before we see cold winters in the NH like I remember from the 60’s? Seems like the the stage is fully set what with sun’s sleepy state, recent volcanic activity, PDO negative , AMO (is it negative yet)? Or perhaps this is all just masking the overall warming?

don rayburg (06:46:44) :
A couple of you mentioned this is a good thing? Why?

Because we don’t need a lot of people to die from the effects of cold in order to prove the warmers wrong. Not something we should wish for even though it would be an emphatic exclamation/nail in their “climate change” coffin.

Mr. Alex (03:26:15) :
Could anyone inform me where I could find the monthly international sunspot numbers for the Layman’s Sunspot Count, ( e.g. July International was 3.5 , but in Layman’s? ). Thanks in advance.
http://www.landscheidt.info/?q=node/50
If ever in doubt a google of “Laymans Sunspot Count” will acheive number 1 position.

Skeptic Tank

Well Anthony, I don’t think you can claim responsibility/blame for these. IIRC, you haven’t posted about the Sun in over a week.

Michael

The sun will take a long time to ramp up. It has been dormant long enough for my purposes. It will take a long time for the Sun to ramp up to full strength in order to significantly heat up the planet again. The reason why dumb people don’t notice the Sun’s influence on our climate is because of it’s lag effect. The ocean batteries have already significantly drained. It will take at least 5 years to recharge them. Expect continued colder climate for at least 5 more years.
Say “Tin” ten times before reading the next line. Please don’t cheat.
What is aluminum foil made of?
Tin right?
Wrong, it’s made of aluminum.
8 out of 10 dumb people will say Tin.
This is how they brainwash you.
The more they repeat a lie, the more people believe it.

Philip T. Downman

Now we are waiting for Livingston and Penn measuring the magnetic field of those spots. One would expect 2000 Gauss or less?

Ron de Haan

[snip off topic – solar not politics here]

Jeff in Ctown (Canada)

This is good, but realy very small compaired to a proper solar maximum. Hopefully this is the begining of a larger increase. But with the (Ap ?) index so low, I am not holding my breath

Kum Dollison

Yeah, I know all that, Mark. But, when you get away from the smoothed lines, and the hand-waving it’s hard to make the timelines work. At least, in any number that would seem to imply something more than coincidence.
Anyway, I’m about to get on board with Pamela (I think it was.)
The Three most important things about weather/climate are: 1) The Wind,
2) The Wind, and
3) The “Wind.”

Bill P

Jean Meeus (00:26:17) :

One isolated spot counts as a “group”, hence 11 (= 1 group + 1 spot). The factor k has been introduced to remove systematic differences between values determined by different observers.

Layman question:
Doesn’t the “group” designation derive in part from its initial relative size?
I thought it had to be… well, bigger than a fleck… kind of “groupish-looking” to be a group. Hope this isn’t too technical.