The impending peak in the activity cycle of the Sun will likely arrive significantly sooner than earlier predicted. As per the analysis carried out by astrophysicists Priyansh Jaswal, Chitradeep Saha, and Dibyendu Nandy at the Center of Excellence in Space Sciences India, the peak in solar activity is likely to hit as early as January 2024.
This is much earlier than the official predictions of solar activity reaching its maximum in July 2025.
There may be better ways to predict the behaviour of the Sun than the methods used earlier for making official predictions regarding the current solar cycle, solar cycle 25, the Indian researchers said.
Solar cycles have been mysterious and it has never been clear what drives them. In simpler terms, after every 11 years, the magnetic field of the Sun reverses polarity. This reversal in polarity is accompanied by the rise and fall of solar activity like sunspots, solar flares, and coronal mass ejections.
The point at which the places are switched by the poles is called solar maximum, which is characterised by a peak reached in activity.
After several years, the solar minimum follows and the Sun deescalates its activity before it again gears up for the next maximum.