How is a solar minimum different from a solar maximum?
By solar minimum, we mean the lowest number of sunspots. After some years of high activity, the Sun will ramp down with fewer sunspots or almost no sunspots. The temperature cools. Conversely, solar maximum is the highest number of sunspots in any given cycle.
What is meant by solar maximum?
Solar maximum is the regular period of greatest solar activity during the Sun’s 11-year solar cycle. During solar maximum, large numbers of sunspots appear, and the solar irradiance output grows by about 0.07%.
What does the term solar minimum mean?
Solar minimum is the regular period of least solar activity in the Sun’s 11-year solar cycle. During solar minimum, sunspot and solar flare activity diminishes, and often does not occur for days at a time.
What is solar maximum cycle?
Generally speaking this occurs over a period of approximately 11 years, although it can be anything up to 14 or 15 years, and is called the Solar Cycle. During any given Solar Cycle, the number of sunspots rises to a maximum (Solar Maximum) and falls to a minimum (Solar Minimum).
Are we in solar max?
We are now in Solar Cycle 25 with peak sunspot activity expected in 2025, the panel said. Solar Cycle 24 was average in length, at 11 years, and had the 4th-smallest intensity since regular record keeping began with Solar Cycle 1 in 1755. It was also the weakest cycle in 100 years.
Why is the solar cycle 11 years?
About every 11 years, the Sun’s magnetic field does a flip. In other words, the north pole becomes the south pole, and vice versa. This flip is one aspect of the roughly 11-year activity cycle the Sun experiences as its magnetic field evolves slowly over time.
Does the Sun rotate?
The Sun rotates on its axis once in about 27 days. This rotation was first detected by observing the motion of sunspots. The Sun’s rotation axis is tilted by about 7.25 degrees from the axis of the Earth’s orbit so we see more of the Sun’s north pole in September of each year and more of its south pole in March.
When was the last solar maximum?
Solar maximum occurred in April 2014 with sunspots peaking at 114 for the solar cycle, well below average, which is 179. Solar Cycle 24’s progression was unusual. The Sun’s Northern Hemisphere led the sunspot cycle, peaking over two years ahead of the Southern Hemisphere sunspot peak.