This day has been a long time coming. Ever since the beginning of Solar Cycle 24 back on January 4th 2008, solar physicists have been eagerly awaiting the fireworks to begin… alas, the Sun decided to take a break and stay blank for nine months, keeping any Cycle 24 sunspot activity hidden. That’s not to say there have been no sunspots. Due to a strange quirk in solar activity, the previous cycle took some time to wind down and continued to send groups of spots to the surface, occasionally unleashing some surprise flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs).
However, it has now been confirmed that the sunspot group seen today by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) and international amateur astronomers do in fact belong to Cycle 24.
Phew, I was beginning to feel a little chilly…
Continue reading “Cycle 24 Sunspot Observed… At Last!”