Heads-up on SC25

The STCE's SC25 Tracking page has been updated to reflect the latest evolution in some critical space weather parameters for the ongoing solar cycle 25 (SC25), from sunspot number all the way to cosmic rays. The multiple graphs allow for a comparison with previous solar cycles at similar stages in their evolution.
Over the last 4 months, solar activity continued to increase, with the southern solar hemisphere remaining slightly dominant. Six more X-class solar flares were recorded, as well as an important increase in the number of coronal mass ejections. An example of elevated solar activity can be found underneath (SDO/AIA 094), when from 29 till 31 March, NOAA 12975 was the source of some important flaring events, including an X1.3 flare on 30 March.



Sunspot activity continued its increase, with the smoothed monthly sunspot number currently about 35% higher than the values predicted by the international SC25 panel (updated). IF this trend continues, then SC25 maximum will be higher than expected. It remains to be seen if this maximum will be around 190 (+/-20) following the updated prediction by McIntosh and collaborators (2020 , update), or that it will still remain modest and comparable to e.g. SC20 which had a maximum of around 155, about 35% higher than the current prediction of 115 +/- 10 for SC25. Indeed, also during the previous solar cycle, there was a first maximum from September to December 2011 with sunspot numbers around 120, before dropping to values well below 100. Nonetheless, for SC25, the sunspot numbers are expected to continue to increase over the coming months, as absolute monthly values are still below 100 (May 2022) and smoothed values near 50 (November 2021) only.




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