Each week here comes Sunday. Few of us reflect that Sunday is actually the "Sun's Day" of each week. So, in honor of The Sun, let's talk a little bit about that Old Sol, our Sun. We're sure you have all heard about the sunspot cycle. No, it's not a new Lance Armstrong ride, it's the incredibly well documented ebb and flow of dark spots on the sun. They are called "sunspots." People have been counting these spots like forever. Get this--the earliest surviving record of sunspot observation dates to 364 BC, or 2,374 years ago. So, sunspots are nothing new under the sun, so to speak.
Why are we talking sunspots this Sunday? Well, LBRs, we're giving you an early heads up that you will be hearing a growing drumbeat of concern over sunspots. In the not too distant future, this drumbeat will rise into a wail of paranoia about Sunspot Cycle 24 that is due to peak in 2012 or perhaps early 2013. People are already wringing their hands and telescopes and crunching dire numbers and saying things like this astounding guesstimate: "the blast will have the equivalent energy of 100 million hydrogen bombs."
Chicken Little is already alive and well and leading the charge to ballyhoo Sunspot Cycle 24. The more dire of the dire predictions are already saying the peak of Sunspot Cycle 24 will change Earth and our civilization as we know it. No kidding. The trouble with all these gloom and doom Chicken Little prognostications is that they may indeed be correct! WHOA, say what? Yes, Sunspot Cycle 24 actually has the genuine potential to prove these people right.
In this day and age of a tsunami of email forwards proclaming all manner of falsehoods, exaggerations, urban legends and distorted facts, it would be easy to dismiss the various hypotheses about Sunspot Cycle 24 as mere Y2K stuff. Don't be fooled. Cycle 24 is The Real Deal and bears very close watching as it gains in power and steam heading into Years 2012-2013.
As the inevitable cacophony of impending doom begins to grow, we can be sure that we will be there every step of the way, helping to separate purported facts and rampant fiction from whatever truth we can glean from various sources. We go way back with studying solar activity--it was one of our passions in the early 1980's. We even visited the Space Weather facility in Colorado to learn more about their role.
We hate to say we're on the gloom and doom bandwagon right now but all signs are pointing to a truly epic peak in solar activity in 2012-2013. Heaven only knows if these predictions will bear the fruit of truth and the reality of mayhem. But we can say one thing right now for sure--Sunspot Cycle 24 is definitely underway and in progress and play. It bears very close watching by all of us, no matter what our station in life. This isn't just another Hollywood disaster movie in the making--this could easily be one of the biggest natural disasters in modern history!
Click here to read an Australian media synopsis of various people discussion Cycle 24.
Click here to read Wiki's great primer on sunspots.
And, finally, click here to go to Spaceweater Dot Com. The author of this site does an incredible job keep up with all things "Sun."
Meanwhile, enjoy your digital toys, have a Happy Sun Day & Many Cheers!