After being in print for twenty years, the Chronological Encyclopedia of Discoveries in Space, covering everything that was learned on every single space mission in the 20th century, has finally gone out of print.
I presently have my last four hardback copies available for sale. The book sold new for about $90. To get your own autographed copy of this now rare collector's item, please send a $120 check (which includes shipping) payable to Robert Zimmerman to
Behind The Black, c/o Robert Zimmerman
Cortaro, AZ 85652
"Useful to space buffs and generalists, comprehensive but readable, Bob Zimmerman's Encyclopedia belongs front and center on everyone's bookshelf." -- Mike Collins, Apollo 11 astronaut
"The Chronological Encylopedia of Discoveries in Space is no passionless compendium of information. Robert Zimmerman's fact-filled reports, which cover virtually every spacecraft or probe to have ventured into the heavens, relate the scientific and technical adventure of space exploration enthusiastically and with authority." -- American Scientist
Last week NOAA posted its monthly update of the solar cycle, showing the sunspot activity for the Sun in September. As I do every month, I am posting it here, below the fold, with annotations to give it context.
As much as I am always willing to point out the errors and foibles of scientists when they get something wrong or overstate their conclusions, I also believe it right to give credit when credit is due. I have been saying for several years now that the prediction of the solar scientist community, indicated by the red curve in the graph below the fold, had seriously overstated the Sun’s sunspot production during this solar maximum.
Well, it now appears that, as the solar cycle continues to run its course, that their May 2009 prediction is becoming increasingly correct.
The graph above has been modified to show the predictions of the solar science community. The green curves show the community’s two original predictions from April 2007, with half the scientists predicting a very strong maximum and half predicting a weak one. The red curve is their revised May 2009 prediction.
The sunspot activity of the Sun in September jumped, exceeding the predicted activity for this time period. While this is only the eighth time the activity in a month was greater than the prediction, the overall shape of this solar maximum as well as its intensity is more and more appearing to resemble the predicted red curve.
Granted, the prediction did not include the double peak, but it wasn’t intended to. Granted, sunspot activity in general during this maximum remains below the prediction, but the differences between the actual and predicted curves are becoming less noticeable.
I keep expecting the Sun to start ramping down to solar minimum but sunspots keep popping up. The maximum has now been going on for three years, and historically weak maximums have tended to last longer. I wonder how much longer this maximum can last.