Solar astronomers can now predict future sunspots

Astronomers have learned that the Sun can be studied using sound waves.

(Excerpt) – The surface of the Sun is a turbulent dance of gravity, plasma, and magnetic fields. Much like the weather on Earth, its behavior can seem unpredictable, but there are patterns to be found when you look closely.

Sunspot compared to Earth

The first pattern to be observed on the solar surface was that of sunspots. Sunspots were noticed by a few ancient astronomers, but they have been regularly studied since the 1600s. As astronomers counted the number of spots seen each year, they found the Sun goes through active years and quiet years. There is an 11-year cycle of high and low sunspot counts. There are other cycles as well, such as the Gleisberg Cycle, which lasts 80 – 90 years.

These patterns are similar to the tornado seasons of the American Midwest, or the El Niño/La Niña cycles of the Pacific. These large patterns have a regularity that makes them easy to anticipate. But while predicting sunspot cycles is relatively easy, predicting the appearance of an individual sunspot is not.

One of the challenges with sunspot prediction is that we can’t put sensors directly on the Sun’s surface. Measuring the magnetic fields that create sunspots is difficult. But astronomers have learned that the Sun can be studied using sound waves, and this technique is starting to let them predict individual sunspots.

[end excerpt]

To realize just how big a sunspot really can be, the above image shows a sunspot compared to Earth.

Thanks to Jay Park for this link

13 thoughts on “Solar astronomers can now predict future sunspots”

  1. An interesting and significant achievement, but the headline implies more than they deliver.

    They can predict when an existing sunspot will become visible to earth, not when a future sunspot will form.
    From the article:
    “About a week ago, the GONG team noticed that the acoustic solar vibrations seemed to be disrupted by a feature on the far side of the Sun. They couldn’t see the feature, but it was consistent with that of a sunspot. So the team predicted that a sunspot cluster could be visible from Earth around Thanksgiving. And it turned out they were right.”

    The pay dirt is a bit further on:

    “With further research, the GONG team and others might even be able to predict the appearance of sunspots before they form. This would give us well more than a week to prepare for any threat from solar flares and would give all of us who use this technology reason to breathe a bit easier.”

    There’s that click-bait tip off again, “might”.

  2. Really good that you show the comparison size of the planet earth in front of our star. They say it’s a little star, as stars go, we think so much of ourselves I defy anyone to find themselves on that earth. But it has nothing to do with climate change funding.

  3. So, we have low sunspot activity and a virus that isn’t as contagious as they had hoped. Timing is everything and the race to roll out 5G is most curious like they did in Wuhan just prior to the “outbreak.”
    “Since we know about the electrical nature of the sun, we can make some interesting ob­servations. The years 1645-1715 were a period that astronomers call the Maunder minimum, when the sun was very quiet. Astronomers ob­served no sunspots during that time span, and the northern lights were nonexistent; then, in 1715, sunspots reappeared, as did the northern lights. Sunspot activity increased, reaching a high in 1727, and in 1728, influenza appeared in waves on every continent. Sunspot activities became more violent until they peaked in 1738, when physicians reported flu in both man and animals, including dogs, horses and birds, espe­cially sparrows. By some estimates, two million people perished during the ten-year pandemic.”
    The book, “The Invisible Rainbow” by Arthur Firstenberg correlates the history of electricity with outbreaks of illness as electrification increased.

  4. The age old sprectum analysis failed to include that each planet has a different pressures with different gases.
    We had based this on our planets pressure and not accounting for… so, it was bad guessing going on.

  5. “But astronomers have learned that the Sun can be studied using sound waves,”

    But I thought –

    “In Space No One Can Hear You Scream”

  6. Thinking they were wise, they became fools and worshiped created things, instead of the creator. So God gave them a depraved mind…

  7. Since the earth is flat and the sun is in our atmosphere, it makes sense that they could study the sun using SOUND waves.

    Otherwise, how would you be able to detect sound waves 93 million miles away? How would you be able to detect them though “space?”


    This is a garbage story or a reveal.

      • It’s just more FE proof… sound waves can only propagate through air (gas)… [Fact Checked] …sometimes you can even hear the fiery sun cracklin’ ‘n poppin’ ‘n sparkin’ and even boomin’ and quakin’ as it’s burnin’… why do you think it feels so warm?
        Their origin has not been positively identified. [it’s the sun] They have been explained as:
        Coronal mass ejection CMEs often generate shock waves similar to what happens when an aircraft flies at a speed higher than the speed of sound in Earth’s atmosphere (sonic boom). The solar wind’s equivalent of a sonic boom can accelerate protons up to millions of miles per minute—as much as 40 percent of the speed of light.
        Propagation of Sound in Gases

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