Radio W4KAZ

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Seeing Spots – Cycle 24

Close call. The end of December was a maelstromof new sunspots when compared to the previous 24 months. Hope springs eternal.

The activity in the last couple of weeks of the year were enough to preserve 2008’s second place ranking in the list of “most spot free” years. But 2009 is in firm grip as number three on the list.

If the spot trend were to continue unabated, that would put the minimum somwhere around January 2009 – though without more research, I can’t recall if that iswhen the first cycle 24 mini-spots appeared. Seems about right. The 3 month moving average is also going up, another bit of good news for the radio geeks.

Plots of cycles 1 through 23 indicate the numbers ramp up at a higher rate than they drop off, but that is more pronounced in the cycles with high peak numbers. Given how poorly the prognosticators did with predicting the minimum, I suspect the next peak will also be hard to predict. My own W.A.G. is a peak of around 90 sometimes in 2013.

O’course, a Wild Guess ain’t none too scientific. But there ain’t a whole lot of data gathered on a system as complex as the ginormous fusion bomb going off 24/7/365 over the last four billion or so years, only “one AU” away. So I stand by the guestimate proudly, without hesitation.

O’course, I must admit to being distracted byWired’s link to nerdeye candy over on their web site. Yikes. Or in nerd-speak, “OMG!”.

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