New ‘Sun clock’ reveals that solar activity turns off and on with surprising precision

NCAR & UCAR News Clock paints picture of a more orderly, predictable Sun Jun 10, 2020 – by Laura Snider Solar scientists have taken a mathematical technique used by Earth scientists to analyze cyclic phenomena, such as the ebb and flow of ocean tides, and applied it to the confounding irregularity of cycles on the…

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On 99 year anniversary of huge disruptive solar storm, we are about to enter the deepest period of solar “recession” ever recorded

By Dr. Tony Phillips 99 years ago this week, people around the world woke up to some unusual headlines. “Telegraph Service Prostrated, Comet Not to Blame” — declared the Los Angeles Times on May 15, 1921. “Electrical Disturbance is ‘Worst Ever Known’” — reported the Chicago Daily Tribune. “Sunspot credited with Rail Tie-up” — deadpanned…

Solar Cycle 25 Has Started

Guest post by David Archibald The heliospheric current sheet has flattened meaning that Solar Cycle 24 is over and we are now in Solar Cycle 25. Figure 1: Heliospheric current sheet tilt angle 1976 -2020 The solar cycle isn’t over until the heliospheric current sheet has flattened. The data is provided by the Wilcox Solar…

IPCC Politics and Solar Variability

By Andy May This post is about an important new paper by Nicola Scafetta, Richard Willson, Jae Lee and Dong Wu (Scafetta, Willson and Lee, et al. 2019) on the ACRIM versus PMOD total solar irradiance (TSI) composite debate that has been raging for over 20 years. ACRIM stands for Active Cavity Radiometer Irradiance Monitor,…

Solar energy tracker powers down after 17 years

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center After nearly two decades, the Sun has set for NASA’s SOlar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE), a mission that continued and advanced the agency’s 40-year record of measuring solar irradiance and studying its influence on Earth’s climate. The SORCE team turned off the spacecraft on February 25, 2020, concluding 17 years…

How ESA-NASA’s Solar Orbiter Beats the Heat

From NASA Feb. 4, 2020 When Solar Orbiter launches on its journey to the Sun, there’s one key piece of engineering making this ESA-NASA mission possible: the heat shield. Seeking a view of the Sun’s north and south poles, Solar Orbiter will journey out of the ecliptic plane — the belt of space, roughly in…

A Solar Science Timeline – sunspots, cycles, and solar wind

Humankind has studied the Sun for millennia. Ancient Babylonians recorded eclipses on stone tablets. Renaissance scientists peered through telescopes, tracking sunspots. Eventually we took to space, and the first satellites captured solar particles streaming past Earth. Each generation ran against the limits of their tools. So they built new ones, and a new bounty of questions emerged. Today, cutting-edge solar…

Sunspots, Verse 25

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach [See update at the end] I started out as a true believer that sunspots (or something that changes in sync with sunspots, like heliomagnetism, cosmic rays, solar wind, etc.) had a strong effect on the weather. When I was a kid I read that the great British astronomer William Hershel…

Spot The Quakes

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach Over in the Twitterverse, where I appear as @WEschenbach, in a discussion someone made the following comment: Solar minimum affects periodicity of volcanic activity. Year ‘without a summer’, 1816,  and several other big volcanos occurred during solar minimum cycles. I said that wasn’t true, and pointed him to my analysis…