The Solar Minimum Has Arrived!

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John Faulkner, Skegness
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The Solar Minimum Has Arrived!

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 04 Sep 2018 15:42

That's a bold statement, coming from somebody who knows next to nothing about the technicalities of our sun, but judging by the latest reports, this is what is being stated.

The level of solar activity we are experiencing now, or more to the point, the relative lack of it, means that the forthcoming medium wave season should be a very good one, unforseen solar eruptions permitting!

Already, we are seeing MW DXers reporting the kind of exotic DX which would not usually happen until September or and October, yet this has been happening in July and August. Some of this is unprecedented!

Currently, the minimum is expected to be happening during 2019/2020, but the chart below shows that we are already experiencing the kind of solar lows we had during the last solar minimum during 2009/2010.

The number of spotless days reported back in May 2018 was 73 out of 128. (Article here: https://www.universetoday.com/139189/ar ... r-minimum/) That's 57% of the time!

If you were wondering about trying your hand at medium wave DXing, you might want to get your skates on as things are looking promising.

solar-cycle-sunspot-number.gif

tvdxrools
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Re: The Solar Minimum Has Arrived!

Post by tvdxrools » 05 Sep 2018 08:40

still garbage up here at moment , David
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John Faulkner, Skegness
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Re: The Solar Minimum Has Arrived!

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 05 Sep 2018 23:41

Really surprised you aren't getting much David.

Some Japanese time signals were audible here at 2000 and 2100 on 1116, 1179, 1188 & 1314. China was audible on 1017, not sure which tx. Plus 1377 CNR1 Xingyang and 1566 HLAZ were both good at 2100.

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John Faulkner, Skegness
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Re: The Solar Minimum Has Arrived!

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 12 Sep 2018 11:34

I am seriously thinking about deleting this topic. I am NOT superstitious, but whenever I (or anybody else) post something about the likelihood of better conditions, something comes along and DESTROYS it! Even DXLC have downgraded their immediate forecast from quiet to minor storm with the appearance of CH885 and active sunspot region 12722, which weren't there yesterday.

Sorry folks. It's all my fault. I killed the solar minimum. Now we have a hopeless MW DX season to look forward to with no DX whatsoever. It's a total disaster. I should have kept my mouth shut. Find another hobby. :oops: :roll:

satnipper
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Re: The Solar Minimum Has Arrived!

Post by satnipper » 12 Sep 2018 15:19

The solar minimum is forecast for between July and September 2019 I believe.

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John Faulkner, Skegness
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Re: The Solar Minimum Has Arrived!

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 12 Sep 2018 16:36

Depends on which predictions you read. The figures I quoted from above stated sometime during 2019/2020, but it's quite flat-bottomed, so we are effectively here now.

We're also in the magical equinox period, and doesn't the sun know it?

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Re: The Solar Minimum Has Arrived!

Post by daveB » 14 Sep 2018 00:33

The first thing to say is that we will not know for sure that the when the sunspot minimum is until at least six months after it has passed because of the need to average to results. The second thing is that according to charts going back a long way, the effective minimum lasts a couple of years. The previous cycle had a longer than average minimum and bottomed out at zero. The current cycle is very close to the minimum of two cycles ago - so if we are not quite there yet - we are not far off.

As to the validity of historical data going back more than a few decades - I don't trust the numbers - it's all a big fudge. From 1818-end 1848, at most there was one observation a day. Sometimes only half the days in the month were recorded (weather?). From 1849 on we have one observation per day and this continued until Dec 1980 - with not a single day missed - seems suspicious to me. From Jan 1981 there are around 9 observations per day, increasing to 20 in the 2000's and in the last couple of years up to 40 observations a day.

How can we objectively compare numbers over a long period when the quality of data varies so much?

Sorry about the "rant" but having labouriously plotted my own charts from the data only to find they've moved the goalposts and completely re-scaled the numbers.... which incidentally means that those of us who read old stuff about the sunspot peak in 1957-58 exceeding 250 - the new number is a peak monthly average of 398!
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