Solar Cycle 25 has begun. The Solar Cycle 25 Prediction Panel announced solar minimum occurred in December 2019, marking the transition into a new solar cycle. In a press event, experts from the panel, NASA, and NOAA discussed the analysis and Solar Cycle 25 prediction, and how the rise to the next solar maximum and subsequent upswing in space weather will impact our lives and technology on Earth.
A new solar cycle comes roughly every 11 years. Over the course of each cycle, the star transitions from relatively calm to active and stormy, and then quiet again; at its peak, the Sun’s magnetic poles flip. Now that the star has passed solar minimum, scientists expect the Sun will grow increasingly active in the months and years to come.
Understanding the Sun’s behavior is an important part of life in our solar system. The Sun’s outbursts—including eruptions known as solar flares and coronal mass ejections—can disturb the satellites and communications signals traveling around Earth, or one day, Artemis astronauts exploring distant worlds. Scientists study the solar cycle so we can better predict solar activity.
for the NOAA press kit.
• Lisa Upton
, Co-chair, Solar Cycle 25 Prediction Panel; Solar Physicist, Space Systems Research Corporation
• Doug Biesecker
, Solar Physicist, NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center; Co-chair, Solar Cycle 25 Prediction Panel
• Elsayed Talaat
, Director, Office of Projects, Planning and Analysis; NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service
• Lika Guhathakurta
, Heliophysicist, Heliophysics Division, NASA Headquarters
• Jake Bleacher
, Chief Exploration Scientist, NASA Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate