Scientists are concerned about the number of sunspots and flares detected on the Sun recently. They expected the current solar activity cycle, which will peak in 2025, to be relatively quiet. But since September 2020, the number of sunspots on the surface of our star has steadily exceeded all official predictions. This was reported by ScienceAlert.
Solar cycles last for 11 years. During the last three of them, the activity of the Sun has been steadily decreasing. The 24th cycle, which ended in 2019, was generally the quietest in more than a hundred years of observations. Even at its maximum, the peak number of spots on the star's disk was only 114, with an average of 179.
Therefore, scientists have predicted that in the current 25th cycle, the number of spots will not exceed 115. However, their number is 61 already. In addition, they are characterized by high activity.
It may seem like 61 is far from the predicted maximum of 115. But the thing is that the peak of solar activity is still three years away, and the number of sunspots is likely to increase over time.
The increase in the number of sunspots will also directly affect the number and power of flares, which can definitely cause communications blackouts, power grid fluctuations and spectacular auroras.