The sun – a hot ball of glowing gas – is the largest object in the heart of our solar system. The yellow dwarf star holds the solar system together and holds planets and debris of various sizes in its orbit. The connection between the sun and earth determines the seasons, biodiversity, ocean currents and the weather on the planet.
NASA recently announced that our brightest star has entered a new solar cycle – officially known as “Solar Cycle 25”. The sun’s solar cycle is an 11-year cycle in which the sun’s magnetic poles tilt and the star transitions between an active and a quiet phase. During these phases, its effects will be experienced throughout the solar system.
Changes in the solar cycle have a very deep relationship with our planet in many ways as this could increase the amount of solar radiation we generally receive. It disrupts our ground and space-based technologies, power grids and radio communications.
“We have observed the sun much more closely over the past 40 years,” said Lika Guhathakurta, program scientist for the Heliophysics Division at NASA’s Washington DC headquarters
NASA’s Directorate for Human Exploration and Operations Mission at the agency’s headquarters explains, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad preparation. Space weather is what it is – our job is to prepare. “
NASA researchers and scientists around the world are studying and modeling the sun to better understand and anticipate changes in the coming years with such predictions.
Previous solar cycle:
The earlier solar cycle began sometime in 2008 and continued and ran through the entire year of 2019. The one that is soon to come will only peak in five years in 20 years. While this may seem alarming to us all, NASA has hinted that we have nothing to fear or stress.
According to space management researchers, the effects of the new cycle will not be much different from what we have just witnessed.
Doug Biesecker, solar physicist at NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center and co-chair of the forecast panel, said solar cycle 25 will reach a maximum sunspot number of 115 in July 2025.
At the same time, researchers have highlighted that while the cycle is likely quieter, it should also not be written off in full.