News Stories

Next Solar Cycle May Be Largest Ever Recorded

We have reported before that the upcoming 2010-2011 solar cycle is expected to be large. Now, continuing studies of the sun have led solar scientists to predict that it may turn out to be the largest ever recorded. Sunspot cycles have been recorded since the time of Galileo, and four of the five largest ever seen have been recorded in the past 50 years. Solar physicist David Hathaway of the Marshall Space Flight Center explains that the current level of geomagnetic activity tells us what the solar cycle will be like in 6 to 8 years, and current levels of activity indicate that the next cycle will be extremely strong. The reason that this correlation would exist is not known, but the statistics are clear: it does work, and has show consistency using data going back to 1868.

Most compelling of all, believes Hathaway, is the work of Mausumi Dikpati and colleagues at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado. As previously reported by Unknowncountry.com, they have analyzed observations of the movement of the interior of the sun against a computer model that also predicts an extremely intense upcoming solar cycle.

There is a great deal of interest presently in the fact that an ancient Mayan calendar identifies December 21, 2012 as the end of the age. While there is no evidence that the sun is going to explode then or anytime remotely soon, it looks as if it will be quite active immediately prior to that date.

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