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On February 5, 2023 I will celebrate my 70th birthday. Yay! As I do every year during this birthday month, I run a campaign to raise money to support my work here at Behind The Black. I do not run ads. My only support comes from my readers, which leaves me utterly free to speak my mind openly about space, culture, and politics. Please consider supporting me in this work by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, in any one of the following ways:


1. Zelle: This is the only internet method that charges no fees. All you have to do is use the Zelle link at your internet bank and give my name and email address (zimmerman at nasw dot org). What you donate is what I get.


2. Donate through Gabpay, using my email address zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

3. Patreon: Go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation.

4. A Paypal Donation:

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5. Donate by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman and mailed to
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Sunspot update: In May we had sunspots, sunspots, and more sunspots!

It is time for another sunspot update! On June 1 NOAA released its monthly update of its graph tracking the number of sunspots on the Sun’s Earth-facing hemisphere. As I do every month, I have posted it below, having added some addition details to provide a larger context.

In May the sunspot activity on the Sun almost literally exploded, producing some of the strongest solar flares in years as well as the most sunspots since the previous solar maximum in 2014. On several days there were as many as eight sunspot groups on the Sun, with one so large that it was visible to the naked eye on Earth (if viewed properly with a protective filter).

May 2022 sunspot activity

The graph above has been modified to show the predictions of the solar science community for the previous solar maximum. The green curves show the community’s two original predictions from April 2007 for the previous maximum, with half the scientists predicting a very strong maximum and half predicting a weak one. The blue curve is their revised May 2009 prediction. The red curve is the new prediction, first posted by NOAA in April 2020.

As you can see from the graph, the number of sunspots in May actually exceeded the sunspot count for many months during the middle of the last solar maximum in 2014. As you can also see, solar activity has also rocketed upward since the solar minimum in 2019, far exceeding the pace forecast in the April 2020 prediction. Based on these numbers, it would not be surprising if solar activity tops the peak of that prediction in the next few months, arriving three years earlier than expected.

Moreover, the Sun’s Earth-facing hemisphere has not been blank of sunspots since December 11, 2021. At the present levels of activity, it appears that we will not see another blank day for years.

Finally, the rapid ramp up in activity since solar minimum continues to suggest the next maximum will be much much higher than that consensus April 2020 prediction, making the outlier prediction of a handful of solar scientists — that this maximum will be a very strong one — to be the right one.

The Sun continues to prove the foolishness of relying on consensus in science. As I noted in last month’s update,

Scientific results are not determined by democracy, by who gets the most votes. They are instead determined solely by who gets it right, even if only one person does so and everyone else disagrees. Copernicus proved that. So did Galileo.

Sadly, because the Sun’s high activity is likely going to act to warm the Earth’s climate somewhat in the next decade — based on data over the last few centuries that correlates high activity with increased temperatures — the global warming crowd of activists who pose as scientists are going to claim that their consensus prediction is right, that fossil fuels are warming the Earth. This claim however will still be a consensus opinion, not based on proven data, with so many uncertainties that any good scientist should dismiss it.

Unfortunately, there are very few good scientists left, and those remaining have no power and realize if they speak out the blacklisting culture of today will squash them. Dissent in science on the subject of global warming is simply not allowed.

Nor will there be many dissenters. The present generation of scientists has been well indoctrinated. They all believe global warming is coming, and that warming can only be caused by human activity. They will not question that claim, but instead will be easily convinced that any new climate warming proves it right.

And that certainty will mean they will ignore the Sun. Thus the real mystery — far more complex than any consensus can ever imagine — will remain unsolved.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.


  • Andrew_W

    The strongest solar cycle in recent times was 19 which peaked in March 1958, since then the trend in cycle strength has been downward while global temperature trend has been strongly upward.

    “Sadly, because the Sun’s high activity is likely going to act to warm the Earth’s climate somewhat in the next decade — based on data over the last few centuries that correlates high activity with increased temperatures — the global warming crowd of activists who pose as scientists are going to claim that their consensus prediction is right,”

    No, sadly what we are going to see is “skeptics” claiming that future warming, which is going to happen irrespective of solar activity, is now proven due to solar activity.

  • Pete

    I think fundamentally what Mr. Zimmerman is saying is somewhat in line with other scientists, and that if the Sun is not taken into account, you do not have an understanding of what is going on. Net CO2 output has increased over the past few years, and yet the Global temp has not significantly changed. That is not to say CO2 has no effect. Think of it this way. the equation for Global temperature change has 20-30 variables. Honest Scientists should be trying to put the correct Coefficient on each. Dishonest scientist are putting Coefficient they want to move a point they would like. I believe the data is far more convincing that the Coefficient for the sun is higher than the Coefficient of effect for CO2. Think if scientist were more open to these discussions, I think more people would be onboard. Right now, all I see is naked political will being put upon populations without regard to science.
    Any climate change discussion that dismiss current and gen VI reactors is not a serious discussion and I will ignore with a clear conscience.

  • Phill O

    One can overlay the two “ramp ups” and find a very similar “curve”. Quite striking!

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