Accordingly, the upcoming solar maximum will come earlier and more explosively than before.
With this move, scientists who predict solar weather finally had to admit that their previous predictions about the solar cycle were wrong, according to Live Science.
The Sun is constantly changing, one solar cycle lasts about 11 years. Our “host star” cycles from a quiet period, called a minimum, to a peak in its activity, called a maximum.
The Sun’s current cycle is cycle 25, which officially began in early 2019. At that time, NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) – an expert panel of NOAA and NASA scientists – predicted that cycle 25 would peak at some point in 2025.
At this maximum, the Sun will be less active than the average cycle and will resemble the 24th solar cycle.
However, other solar scientists soon realized that the Sun was not as the SWPC had predicted and debate continued throughout the year.
Ultimately, SWPC had to admit that its initial estimates were “no longer credible enough for SWPC’s customers, such as satellite and private space exploration companies”.
The new update said “solar activity will increase faster and reach higher levels” than initially estimated. Solar maximum will begin from January to October 2024.
To avoid further errors for the remainder of Solar Cycle 25, the SWPC will switch to a more flexible forecast system for the first time in its history. This system will be updated at the beginning of every month.