Sunspots set a Space Age Record

Posted: December 20, 2019 by oldbrew in Solar physics
Tags: ,

The switch to solar cycle 25 must be getting close, if not here already.

Dec. 17, 2019: Solar Minimum is becoming very deep indeed. Over the weekend, the sun set a Space Age record for spotlessness. So far in 2019, the sun has been without sunspots for more than 271 days, including the last 34 days in a row. Since the Space Age began, no other year has had this many blank suns.

Above: The blank sun on Dec. 16, 2019. Credit: NASA/Solar Dynamics Observatory

The previous record-holder was the year 2008, when the sun was blank for 268 days. That was during the epic Solar Minimum of 2008-2009, formerly the deepest of the Space Age. Now 2019 has moved into first place.

Solar Minimum is a normal part of the 11-year sunspot cycle. The past two (2008-2009 and 2018-2019) have been long and deep, making them “century-class” Minima. To find a year with more blank suns, you have to go back to…

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  1. Mike Benson says:

    Surprised! Not really, but I started tracking the sunspots around 2008 so I remember that year. It’s when I decided to research the science behind global warming because it seemed really bad. Imagine my surprise to find out it was all a wealth transfer scheme coupled with totalitarianism! Keep on, Roger!

  2. JB says:

    I think their projection in 2025 is too optimistic. It does not take into account the very much longer term modulation of the peaks, evident in the trend of the slope. Inspecting figures 4 & 5 in Pease and Glenn’s paper, “Long Term Sunspot Cycle Phase Coherence with Periodic Phase Disruptions”, their projections of SC25, 26,and 27 represent more faithfully this lower frequency modulation of the sun cycle. The paper discusses the influence of the sun’s barycenter, which has been covered in previous Tallbloke postings.Additional analysis can be found at

    I would much rather be informed of a worst-case possibility, and plan my living arrangements (cold weather survival; health, element protection, fuel requirements) accordingly and not have to use them, than be caught in the panics of the Past, so eloquently characterized by Martin Armstrong.

  3. Fast says:

    The festive time of the year is upon us. It’s time to laugh and cheer.

  4. oldbrew says:

  5. oldbrew says:

    Dec 9, 2019
    NOAA admits SC24 minimum could already have happened, ‘predicting’ April 2020 +/- 6 months.

  6. Oldbrew, good one for your link above. A couple of things
    1/ Looking at the shape of the 23/24 minimum it sure looks as though we are already in SC25
    2/ Looking at the shape of SC23 and SC24 it is clear the prediction for SC25 is wrong -there should be 2 peaks of maximum
    3/ It is very likely that the higher peak of SC25 will be less than 90

  7. oldbrew says:

    Climate models getting worse.

    From what I understand, the new CMIP6 models are exhibiting even more warming than the CMIP5 models, so it sounds like when we have sufficient model comparisons to produce CMIP6 plots, the discrepancies seen below will be increasing.
    – – –
    ‘exhibiting’ = inventing, in this case

  8. phil salmon says:

    One of this week’s papers over at Judith Curry’s site shows that two cold periods in the last 2000 years – the dark ages ~ 400-500 AD and the LIA ~ 1400-1600 – were (a) associated with decreased insolation and (b) Indian Ocean sea level fell measurably during these intervals. More solid evidence for solar driven centennial scale climate variability with sea level also involved.

  9. phil salmon says:

    Sorry – here’s the link again

    [reply] thanks

  10. oldbrew says:

    ‘Projected’ is ahead of actual (monthly) here.