Solar Cycle 25 has arrived

This split image shows the difference between an active Sun during solar maximum (on the left, captured in April 2014) and a quiet Sun during solar minimum (on the right, captured in December 2019). December 2019 marks the beginning of Solar Cycle 25, and the Sun’s activity will once again ramp up until solar maximum, predicted for 2025. Credits: NASA/SDO
This split image shows the difference between an active Sun during solar maximum (on the left, captured in April 2014) and a quiet Sun during solar minimum (on the right, captured in December 2019). December 2019 marks the beginning of Solar Cycle 25, and the Sun’s activity will once again ramp up until solar maximum, predicted for 2025. Credits: NASA/SDO

Our home star goes through an 11 year cycle, moving regularly from a quiet period (solar minimum) to an active one (solar maximum) and then back to quiet. An international group of experts, including those from NASA and NOAA, announced that a solar minimum occurred in December 2019, marking the start of a new solar cycle.

The dark blotches on the Sun, called sunspots, are associated with solar activity and scientists use these to track solar cycle progress. Sunspots are often origins of explosions such as solar flares or coronal mass ejections (CMEs), which can spew light, energy, and solar material into space. Now that solar minimum has passed, scientists expect the Sun’s activity to ramp up toward the next predicted maximum in July 2025.

According to NASA there will be an increase in space weather that could have effects for technology on Earth, as well as astronauts in space. Solar Cycle 25 is expected to be a below-average cycle, but that does not mean it is without risk and understanding the cycles of the Sun is one part of being prepared for any untoward incidents.

The featured split image shows the difference between an active Sun during solar maximum (on the left, captured in April 2014) and a quiet Sun during solar minimum (on the right, captured in December 2019). December 2019 marks the beginning of Solar Cycle 25, and the Sun’s activity will once again ramp up until solar maximum, predicted for 2025. Credits: NASA/SDO
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I am a Chartered Environmentalist from the Royal Society for the Environment, UK and co-owner of DoLocal Digital Marketing Agency Ltd, with a Master of Environmental Management from Yale University, an MBA in Finance, and a Bachelor of Science in Physics and Mathematics. I am passionate about science, history and environment and love to create content on these topics.

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