Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Momentum Management Maneuver #37 Today

SDO will execute Momentum Management Maneuver #37 today at 1838 UTC (2:38 p.m. ET). From 1830 to 1930 (UTC) science data may be missing or blurred.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Hale’s Polarity Law in Solar Cycle 25

The magnetic field of the Sun has several patterns and follows a few laws. Hale’s Polarity Law is one of those. It says that the leading and trailing magnetic fields in an active region have the opposite direction and the directions flip in the next sunspot cycle.
Here is proof of the flip going into Solar Cycle 25. On the left is an HMI magnetogram from April 3, 2011, during the rise to the maximum of Solar Cycle 24. There are several active regions in the Northern hemisphere of the Sun. The magnetic field going into the Sun is shown as black and the outward field in white. Arrows point to three active regions (AR 11180, 11183, and 11184, right to left arrows) and show that the inward field leads the outward field.

On the right is a magnetogram from April 2, 2020. A high-latitude active region (AR 12759) has the outward field is leading the active region and the inward magnetic field is behind. AR 12759 is at 28 N (the same latitude as Cape Canaveral, FL, SDO’s launch site).

Hale’s Polarity Law is one of the reasons for the confusing names of the solar cycle. People see an 11-year sunspot cycle when they look only at sunspots. The reversal of the leading and trailing fields means that two sunspot cycles are necessary for the Sun to return to the same conditions (the 22-year solar cycle). But we still count Solar Cycles. So Solar Cycle 25 is the 25th sunspot cycle since records the numbering began in 1755.

The high-latitude, oppositely-directed field active region AR 12759 is just the beginning of Solar Cycle 25.The leading field is an outie!