Tuesday, November 4, 2014

AR12192 - The Biggest Sunspot in Two Solar Cycles

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Measuring 130,000 kilometers wide, AR12192 is the biggest sunspot in two solar cycles. 

It first appeared on the Earth-facing side of the sun on October 16, 2014 and produced a X.1-class flare three days later. The active solar region already has produced 137 C and M-class flares including this X1 flare. AR 12192 rotated onto the far side of the sun on October 30, 2014. 

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However as it evolves a new version of it rotating back into view in ten days. AR 12192 is also unusual in that it hasn't produced any noteworthy coronal mass ejections, which usually spit billions of tonnes of solar material into space. 
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In the chart at left the current SC 24 is shown in red, the mean of the previous 23 cycles is depicted by the blue curve, and the current cycle SC 24 strongly resembles SC 1, which is shown by the black curve. The current cycle resembles SC 1, and should it continue to behave like SC 1, a trailing off of activity cannot be anticipated anytime soon. Indications, however, do point to a longer than normal cycle. 





























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The variation in the Sun's motion about the Center of Mass is characterized by a periodicity of 178.770 years: Every 16 loops about the barycenter the Sun repeats a very similar path. The slight time derivative or torque to this 178.770 year cycle, a time dependant periodic function of +/- 1.05 years is called the torque cycle, determined by nine subsequent synodic periods of Jupiter and Saturn (9 * 19.858 years = 178.720 years) and used by Theodor Landscheidt to forecast sunspot cycles. The projection of this 178.72 Year Cycle (+/- 1.05 years) from the peak of SSC #8 in March 1837 suggests the peak of the current SSC #24 is still ahead of us and would occur in 2015-2016.
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