It’s official solar cycle 25 has begun because NASA say so.

This split image shows the difference between an active Sun during solar maximum (on the left, captured in April 2014) and a quiet Sun during solar minimum (on the right, captured in December 2019). December 2019 marks the beginning of Solar Cycle 25, and the Sun’s activity will once again ramp up until solar maximum, predicted for 2025.
Credits: NASA/SDO

It seems to have been a long time coming, but finally after what seems a very long wait, solar cycle 25 has begun – so say NASA – but at least they didn’t forget to mention the work that the Sunspot Index and Long-term Solar Observations [SILSO] do in passing. I reported in May about the imminent death of solar cycle 24, it seems that I was a little late with that news as it had already been dead for six months! It seems to me that while scientists from around the world just sit around procrastinating about when the old cycle had ended and we had to rely on the Americans to come out and categorically state this as a fact before we could move on. The world has taken a sudden interest in it’s nearest star and has launched a number of space probes towards the sun in order to study it more closely. Perhaps it’s because in recent years ‘space weather’ has now become a very important topic, and what once were just funny dark spots on the sun that only interested astronomers with Tefal shaped heads has now become big business.

Just for completeness here are a couple of graphs of monthly and daily sunspot counts.
It does appear that the sun has sparked into life a little in 2020 when compared to the second half of 2019.
From what I read the thinking is that solar cycle 25 might be as quiet as solar cycle 24.

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