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Is the Sun Changing?

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Is the Sun Changing?


© November 2008 Ted Twietmeyer









For many months our nearest star has been incredibly quiet with regard to sunspot and CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) activity. Proton and electron flux has also been quiet. This is somewhat strange, since in 2012 it will reach the peak (solar max) of the 11 year solar activity cycle. Strangely enough, we haven’t observed a corresponding increase in sunspot activity which was expected to increase about a year ago.


The chart below shows just how quiet and relatively uneventful proton and electron emissions have been:


Fig. 1 – combined satellite measurement chart from GOES 11 and GOES 12 data. (The higher the Kp value the further south of the North pole that the Aurora will be visible.)


Fig. 2 – solar magnetic field as measured by GOES 11 and GOES 12 satellites. The sine-wave like pattern is a normal pattern and shows few disturbances.


Fig. 3 – x-ray flux from the Sun. White circled area shows a flat line of activity. This chart has for shown several months shown flat line activity - prior to Nov. 2. Suddenly X-Ray activity has greatly increased even although sporadically.


Fig. 4 – No large solar flares have been visible to create the increased X-ray activity. Red boxed area above shows strange right-angled patterns on the solar surface. Satellite mage was taken in the X-ray band at 19.5nm.

X-ray activity is of particular interest to those aboard the Space Station. When X-rays reach potentially hazardous levels, astronauts aboard the station retreat to a “safe area.” This area is not lead lined, but instead uses plates charged with high voltage charged to limit X-rays exposure.

Quite often, increased X-ray activity is often linked to sunspots and solar flare activity. The same satellites that take these images like Fig. 4 also make the other measurements. Yet we so no real increase in sunspot activity. There are however, very unusual right-angled patterns that have appeared with no explanation.

Ted Twietmeyer


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