Anyone looking at the Sun this week has to be impressed with its sudden reawakening over the past few days. From its recent somewhat troubling slumber, with flux numbers in the high 70s, these values have quickly risen to a Cycle 25 high in the 120s as of early Saturday. With at least two more active regions about to rotate into view shortly, it seems as though these numbers might continue to grow.
What is interesting is the suddenness with which these groups formed as this is a keystone marker for the long awaited ‘terminator’ event … the point at which cycle growth starts to increase rapidly. Is this it or will the Sun go back to sleep as it has in the past few excursions into the 90’s?
If this rapid increase does indeed herald the terminator's arrival, it’s a sign that Cycle 25 should be one of above average strength. Wouldn’t that be nice after Cycle 24’s weak showing over the past 11 years.
With the present asymmetry of the Sun's two hemisphere, we are guaranteed a cycle with a double hump in the peak years. The first peak is usually the strongest but not always. Let's see how Cycle 25 plays out in this department.
I’ve yet to do any comparisons with past progress of strong cycles at this same point into their upward climb but let’s cross our fingers and hope the present numbers continue for some time. There will always be drops of course but if recovery is quick, we may still be in for a good ride in Cycle 25.