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This section accumulates world news published in the media and concerning facts, phenomena and/or versions.

A powerful geomagnetic storm is forecast today

Added Thu, 30/11/2023
Дата публикации
Thu, 30/11/2023

NOAA confirms that on December 1, a "cannibal coronal mass ejection" (VCM) will hit our planet. Cannibal VCMs are formed when a fast VCM absorbs slower VCMs going ahead. If this plasma cloud hits the Earth on December 1, as predicted, then the levels of the geomagnetic storm may reach category G3 (strong).

The impending solar maximum will come sooner than expected, according to a new study

A groundbreaking study conducted by astrophysicists from the Center of Excellence in Space Sciences of India has shown that the expected peak of the solar activity cycle, known as the solar maximum, is likely to come much earlier than previously predicted. The analysis conducted by Priyansh Jaswal, Chitradip Saha and Dibyendu Nandi shows that the solar maximum is expected in January 2024, which is significantly different from the initial official forecast made in July 2025. This discovery calls into question the accuracy of current methods used to predict the behavior of the Sun during the 25th solar cycle.

Solar cycles, although mysterious in nature, follow predictable patterns. Approximately once every 11 years, the Sun's magnetic field changes polarity, which is accompanied by fluctuations in solar activity, such as sunspots, flares and coronal mass ejections. The transitional moment when the poles change places is known as the solar maximum, characterized by increased activity. It is followed by a period of decreasing activity, called the solar minimum, after which the Sun prepares for the next maximum.

Traditionally, scientists have relied on tracking sunspots to predict the time of the onset of the solar maximum. However, this method has never been absolutely accurate, and official forecasts have served as estimates rather than exact dates. The previous solar cycle, the 24th, ended with a solar minimum in 2019, and the 25th cycle was expected to follow with restrained activity and peak in July 2025.

Contrary to expectations, solar activity has significantly exceeded official forecasts for the 25th cycle. In fact, this is one of the strongest cycles recorded since observations began in 1755. The excitement around recent solar activity has prompted some scientists to challenge existing forecasts. Robert Lemon of NASA and Scott McIntosh of the US National Center for Atmospheric Research were among those who predicted a stronger solar maximum scheduled for mid or late 2024. Last month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) revised its forecast, agreeing with Leamon and McIntosh's forecast of a maximum between January and October 2024.

The implications of this research go beyond scientific curiosity. Solar activity is closely related to space weather, and solar eruptions can have a significant impact on Earth. Although our ability to mitigate these impacts is limited, accurate predictions of solar cycles would provide valuable insights and perhaps better prepare for them. Scientists like Lemon and McIntosh base their analyses on the Sun's internal magnetic activity, tracing patterns over a long period of time. Jaswal and his colleagues used a similar approach, studying data from a decade ago and investigating the relationship between magnetic activity and the Waldmeyer effect.

As we look forward to the onset of the solar maximum, progress in our understanding of the behavior of the Sun is crucial. By improving forecasting methods, we will be able to increase our ability to anticipate and respond to the potential consequences of solar activity for our planet.

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