A strangely quiet beginning to the latest sunspot cycle:
But many of the other competing predictions — more than 50 over all — pointed to a quieter-than-average cycle. “They do kind of go all over the map,” said Douglas Biesecker, a physicist at the Space Weather Prediction Center who led an international panel that reviewed predictions.Heh.
The solar wind is another piece of the puzzle. David J. McComas of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio and one of the researchers who analyzed data from the Ulysses Sun-watching spacecraft, said that the strength of the solar wind seemed to be in a long-term decline. The pressure exerted by the solar wind particles during the current minimum is about a quarter weaker than during the last solar minimum, Dr. McComas said.
Dr. McComas said scientists were still trying to figure out how all the data fits together.
“There are a number of researchers who predict the next solar cycle,” he said. “There are also a number of investment counselors who predict the future of the stock market.”