Solar Cycle 25 Sunspot Activity Well Ahead of Forecast

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Highlight: Potential significant disruption with satellite communications during solar cycle 25 maxima beginning in 2024.

Fig: 1: Latest sunspot number plot of solar cycle 25 vs. forecasts.

Discussion: The January 2023 sunspot number was 143, well over the already adjusted forecasts (Fig. 1). Observational implications are that solar cycle 25 will continue to progress at much higher sunspot number rates than forecast ultimately cresting at values similar to, or higher than the last stronger solar cycle maxima (number 23) observed around 2000. In 2000 there were 3,256 satellites orbiting the earth according to Satista. In 2022, the number has more than doubled, according to Satista. Solar maximum is present when solar activity including sunspots are frequent and can be potent. The disruption to earth’s ionosphere can disrupt or cause to fail satellite transmissions.