The Active Sun
The news is, of course, old to those who have been following the Sun’s activity of late: things are getting more exciting. There are more spots, more flares and more CMEs as we approach solar maximum. Solar Cycle 25 is off to a good start, and interestingly, there are websites which post that it will be weaker than 24… while others show that it will be more active. Official news can be found here: https://spaceweatherarchive.com/2022/01/09/solar-cycle-25-update/
Right now the sunspot counts are higher than the predictions for the cycle. Read into that as you will, as solar physics is still a burgeoning field. The current prediction is for the cycle to reach maximum in mid-2025. With that amateur radio enthusiasts and astronomers will enjoy the changes to the Sun and ionosphere. With the activity, changes to our solar observing practices have been made, so that it can be shared safely with students & adults, and the data collected to send to the AAVSO Solar Group. While all but the 0.7m have solar filters, the results of using a Herschel wedge from Baader along with a 10mm Radian and polarizer on a TV-85 have been amazing. It’s small, light weight, easily transported and will also hold a Nikon D-810 for imaging. Attached are a couple of photos from earlier this week, all taken in gusty wind conditions. Note that if you are intending to get new solar observing gear, the lead times on ordering gear are now long… and solar maximum is coming. Images are below: be sure to click to see full size. The spots are impressive!
Clear skies to all.