Are Sunspots Disappearing?


Are sunspots disappearing for good? Two solar researchers say this is the case. Amateur Radio Newsline's Norm Seeley, KI7UP, has more:

Most hams users know that there is a direct correlation between sunspots and high frequency propagation conditions. In general, the more sunspots there are, the more DX you will be able to work. This usually happens in 11 year cycles with the last solar maximum having taken place in 2000.

The current Solar Cycle which is Cycle 24 should peak in roughly next year in 2010. Only one problem. There have been few sunspots this year and very little easy to work DX. And now there may be an answer as to why. reports that astronomers Bill Livingston and Matt Penn of the National Solar Observatory in Tucson, Arizona, have found that sunspot magnetic fields are definitely waning. Not only that. They say that sunspots could completely disappear within decades.

Livingston and Penn have been measuring solar magnetism since 1992. Their technique is based on a complex system called the Zeeman splitting of infrared spectral lines emitted by iron atoms in the vicinity of sunspots. They reached their conclusion by extrapolating their already collected data into the future.

Where has all the DX gone?


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