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The First Signs of Solar Cycle 25

13 Apr 2018, 18:11 UTC
The First Signs of Solar Cycle 25
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On 20-Dec-2016 a USET observer saw a small patch of magnetic field in the southern hemisphere of the Sun. The outward magnetic field (white in the magnetograms) was behind the inward field (black patches). This patch is circled in blue in the HMI magnetogram. This high-latitude region (23°S) did not follow the pattern of magnetic field seen in Solar Cycle 24. George Hale noticed that sunspots tended to have a definite pattern of their magnetic field. One hemisphere has the patch of inward field leading the outward. The other hemisphere has the opposite pattern. During the next sunspot cycle the hemispheres reverse patterns. The arrows in the magnetogram point to magnetic fields that follow Hale’s law for Solar Cycle 24. The blue arrows point to areas that show the pattern for the northern hemisphere and the single red arrow the southern. Even the broad areas of magnetic field in the northern hemisphere follow this pattern. The magnetic field in the patch of magnetic field in the blue circle has the black leading the white — a sign that it is related to Solar Cycle 25, especially because it is at higher latitudes than most of the sunspots seen around this ...

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