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Solar Cycle 24

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Solar Cycle 24

SARL News carries an article in which Jim Kennedy, KH6/K6MIO reports that the current Solar Cycle 24 is continuing its downward trend.
For several years now, the Sun's northern and southern hemispheres continue to have separate minds about their relative rates of descent. The southern hemisphere index is now rather close to zero, while the northern index, though tracking downward, has started from a higher level.
In the meantime, during March 2017, there were no sunspots for 16 days in either hemisphere. There was a total of 23 days with fewer than 30 daily sunspots. All the indications are that we will be seeing even longer periods of blank Sun over the next few years.
There continue to be expectations that the upcoming Cycle 25 will be noticeably weaker than Cycle 24. It seems likely that, when it does clearly begin to move upward from the probably long minimum, it will be slow in rising.
It is interesting to compare Cycle 12 (1878 - 1890) with Cycle 24. Although Cycle 12 was somewhat weaker than Cycle 24, it shows a lot of the same general characteristics of Cycle 24 rise and fall profile.
It is reasonable to think that the official Cycle 24 minimum will occur sometime in 2020 or 2021.
Many solar professionals are predicting Cycle 25 to have an overall maximum in the 60s. That would be nearly half of Cycle 24 maximum.

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