by Dr. Tony Phillips
from SpaceWeatherArchive Website
Blue is the "official" prediction of a weak cycle.
Red is a new prediction based on the Termination Event.
Solar physicists Scott McIntosh (NCAR) and Bob Leamon (U. Maryland-Baltimore County) call it "The Termination Event."
The "Termination Event" is a new idea in solar physics, outlined by McIntosh and Leamon in a December 2020 paper (Overlapping Magnetic Activity Cycles and the Sunspot Number - Forecasting Sunspot Cycle 25 Amplitude) in the journal Solar Physics.
Not everyone accepts it... yet...
Solar Cycle 25 unfolds
as McIntosh and Leamon predict, the Termination Event will
have to be taken seriously.
During this time, the two cycles coexisted, SC25 struggling to break free while old SC24 held it back.
Researchers have long known that solar cycles can overlap.
The twist added by McIntosh and Leamon is the realization that overlapping cycles interact. This makes sense.
In the early 20th century, George Ellery Hale discovered that the magnetic polarity of sunspot pairs reverses itself from one cycle to the next:
opposite-polarity solar cycles overlap, they naturally interfere.
Bands of coronal bright points
(hot spots in the sun's atmosphere)
linked to old Solar Cycle 24 vanished in Dec. 2021,
signaling a Termination Event.
A Twitter thread from Scott McIntosh
explains this in greater detail.
In their Solar Physics paper, McIntosh and Leamon looked back over 270 years of sunspot data and found that Termination Events happen every 10 to 15 years.
So when did the latest Termination Event happen? December 2021...
This yields a specific, testable prediction for Solar Cycle 25.
"Above average" may not sound exciting, but this is in fact a sharp departure from NOAA's official forecast of a weak solar cycle.
It could be just enough to catapult Terminators into the forefront of solar cycle prediction techniques...