News Karnataka
Tuesday, February 27 2024
Science & Technology

IISER Kolkata: Solar Peak Forecasted for 2024

Photo Credit : IANS

Kolkata : According to researchers at IISER Kolkata, the Sun’s currently active phase of Solar Cycle 25 is expected to peak to its maximum intensity in 2024, as evidenced by an increase in sunspot numbers and solar flare activity.

Every eleven years, the Sun’s magnetic field flips due to a process that makes it more twisted than a ball of yarn. This is known as the solar cycle.

The number of spots and the intensity of solar activity peak about every 11 years when the most intense disturbances in planetary space environments, or space weather, are anticipated, according to data from observations dating back to the early 1600s.

This includes significant harm to telecommunications systems, electric power grids, and satellites in orbit when they are pointed toward Earth.

But figuring out when this peak will happen has proven to be difficult.

The research report, which was published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters, stated that the scientists found a novel relationship between the sun’s magnetic field and its sunspot cycle that can assist anticipate when the peak in solar activity will occur.

Scientist Max Waldmeier from Switzerland found in 1935 that a sunspot cycle’s strength increases with its pace of climb; thus, stronger cycles reach their maximum intensity faster. Using this relationship, one can frequently predict a sunspot cycle’s strength based on measurements of its early rising phase.

The IISER team’s new finding supports the Waldmeier effect by establishing a connection between the sun’s two main magnetic field components and providing evidence for the hypothesis that sunspot evolution is an essential part of the solar dynamo process rather than just a symptom of it.

When paired with sunspot data, these new measurements of the sun’s dipole magnetic field’s rate of reduction can be used to predict when the current cycle will peak.

According to the data, solar cycle 25’s maximum is most likely to happen in the first half of 2024, with an estimate uncertainty as high as September of that same year, the researchers stated.

With this latest discovery, a new window opens up for forecasting the timing of the peak of solar cycles — when the most intense activity and most frequent space weather disturbances are expected, they noted.

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