Cosmic Radiation at Record High Levels as the Sun Sets Space Age Record for Most Days Without Spots

December 18, 2019

Cosmic radiation has hit the 5-year high this month and is approaching record high values as the Sun sets a new Space Age record for spotlessness — days without sunspots. The Sun’s magnetic field weakens during solar minimums, allowing deep space cosmic radiation to flood the Solar System.

Cosmic radiation is increasing since 2014 when Solar Cycle 24 peaked and the Sun headed toward very deep Solar Minimum we are experiencing right now. SC24 reached its maximum in April 2014 with 23 months smoothed sunspot number of only 81.8 — one of the weakest solar cycles on record.

In 2019, the Sun has been without spots for 270 days or 77%, as of December 16, which is the highest number of spotless days on the Sun since the Space Age began in 1957 with the launch of Sputnik 1 by the Soviet Union.

The current Solar Minimum, the same as the previous one (2008/2009), is very deep — referred to as ‘century-class’ minimum. The only year with more spotless days was 1913 with 311.

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