Scroll down to read this post.


I am now in the final week of my July fund-raising campaign for Behind the Black, celebrating its 14th anniversary. Thank you all, from the people who have donated small amounts to those who have given large sums. I cannot truly express how much your support means to me.


The support of my readers through the years has given me the freedom and ability to analyze objectively the ongoing renaissance in space, as well as the cultural changes -- for good or ill -- that are happening across America. Four years ago, just before the 2020 election I wrote that Joe Biden's mental health was suspect. Only in the past two weeks has the mainstream media decided to recognize that basic fact.


Fourteen years ago I wrote that SLS and Orion were a bad ideas, a waste of money, would be years behind schedule, and better replaced by commercial private enterprise. Even today NASA and Congress refuses to recognize this reality.


In 2020 when the world panicked over COVID I wrote that the panic was unnecessary, that the virus was apparently simply a variation of the flu, that masks were not simply pointless but if worn incorrectly were a health threat, that the lockdowns were a disaster and did nothing to stop the spread of COVID. Only in the past year have some of our so-called experts in the health field have begun to recognize these facts.


Your help allows me to do this kind of intelligent analysis. I take no advertising or sponsors, so my reporting isn't influenced by donations by established space or drug companies. Instead, I rely entirely on donations and subscriptions from my readers, which gives me the freedom to write what I think, unencumbered by outside influences.


Please consider supporting my work here at Behind the Black.


You can support me either by giving a one-time contribution or a regular subscription. There are five ways of doing so:


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

3. A Paypal Donation:

4. A Paypal subscription:

5. Donate by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman and mailed to
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652


You can also support me by buying one of my books, as noted in the boxes interspersed throughout the webpage or shown in the menu above. And if you buy the books through the ebookit links, I get a larger cut and I get it sooner.

Sunspot update: June saw the most sunspots in more than two decades

Time for our monthly sunspot update, based on NOAA’s monthly graph that tracks the number of sunspots on the Sun’s Earth-facing hemisphere. I have posted that graph below, but have added some extra details to provide some context.

June saw the highest sunspot count in a month since September 2002, when the Sun was just beginning its ramp down after its solar maximum that reached its peak in late 2001. From that time until now, the Sun has been in a very prolonged quiet period, with two solar minimums that were overly long and a single solar maximum that was very weak with a extended double peak lasting almost four years.

June 2023 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.

The June numbers not only continued the pattern since the end of the solar maximum in 2020 of being far above the 2020 prediction by NOAA’s panel, the numbers far exceeded that prediction’s margin of error, as shown by the the grey area around the red curve.

Looking back to 2002

The graph to the right extends NOAA’s graph back to the 2002 solar maximum, the last strong maximum. The red line makes clear the comparison of July’s high activity with that of September 2002.

It now appears that the high activity seen since the beginning of this ramp up to the upcoming solar maximum is no fluke, and that the consensus prediction of NOAA’s solar science panel of a weak maximum in 2025 will be wrong.

Instead, it appears that the dissenting prediction by a handful of other solar scientists who in 2020 predicted a very high maximum in 2025 will turn out more correct, even though those same scientists recently pulled back on their own prediction, saying they now expected the maximum to come one year early, in 2024, and that the maximum will not be as intense as they predicted, though still higher than NOAA’s prediction.

Regardless, I would not bet much money on the predictive powers of either camp. To once again quote my update in April:

These predictions are based solely on past behavior, not on any understanding of the true fundamental causes for this sunspot cycle within the Sun’s magnetic dynamo. That the dissenters are now adjusting their prediction to make it align more with what has happening is not an indication of their knowledge, but actually shows us how little they know. They simply change their prediction to fit the facts, as the facts change.

Though solar researchers know a lot more about the Sun’s behavior since the beginning of the space age, they really do not yet understand anything, on that fundamental level. It is still possible for the Sun to calm down and produce a weak maximum in 2025, or a very strong one, even stronger than predicted by the dissenters. Until we discover why the Sun’s magnetic dynamo undergoes this cycle, no prediction can be relied on with much faith.

Meanwhile, this high activity will likely impact the Earth’s climate, as circumstantial evidence has suggested in the past. Less activity aligns with a cooling in the climate, and more activity aligns with warming. Thus, any warming detected in the next decade might be caused not by human-caused global warming — which I guarantee every leftwing political activist will claim — but by the Sun itself.

Sadly, because the ongoing climate data has now been corrupted so badly by the global warming activists in the government facilities that record the data, it will be almost impossible to pin down what is really happening. To prove global warming, these dishonest scientists have for years been slowly adjusting past records downward, with no justification, to make it appear the climate is warming. Those unjustified changes will make it impossible to determine how much of the future warming was caused by real environmental factors, such as the Sun, or by false manipulations by these crooked scientists.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.


The print edition can be purchased at Amazon. Or you can buy it directly from the author and get an autographed copy.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.

The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News


  • Cotour

    Q: Is increased sunspot activity associated with warming or cooling in the earth’s atmosphere?

    “I think we can all now agree if this story in Politico below is so about what the American government and its “experts” will now begin to investigate doing, dimming the sun. I think that we can now reliably count on a cooling of the planet earth’s atmosphere and a full-blown ice age is soon to begin. Or something much, much worse.” Why?……….

  • Phill O

    The caption should read:

    “The sun’s activity remains low as the only other observed lower minimum was early in the 1800s. There is some hope of a renewed robust sun spot cycle as things seem to be turning around.”

    We do know that the earth’s climate lows corresponded to low sun spot activity.

    Clicking on the link to NOAA data and click all to see a more complete picture. I think that earlier data seem to not be listed for the Maunder minimum.

  • Cotour

    To one of my points related to the Politico dimming article: And what is China doing?

    D Caller: “China has implemented export limits on two metals utilized in the manufacturing of computer chips and other valuable technological devices, according to an announcement by the country’s Ministry of Commerce on Monday.”

    Incentivize or disincentivize. That is a proper strategy when dealing with your adversaries and or competitors.

    And you tend to only give ground and incentivize when your $uperiors apparently own you.

    Joe and his administration are clearly and apparently in this “Owned” mode of operation as per the piling up evidence that will no longer be able to not be seen. And they in their greed and desperation have brought it all upon themselves. There must be severe consequences, but I am not sure where between the Pedestrian and the Political Realms lies the solution and those consequences.

    Can only get more and more interesting.

Readers: the rules for commenting!


No registration is required. I welcome all opinions, even those that strongly criticize my commentary.


However, name-calling and obscenities will not be tolerated. First time offenders who are new to the site will be warned. Second time offenders or first time offenders who have been here awhile will be suspended for a week. After that, I will ban you. Period.


Note also that first time commenters as well as any comment with more than one link will be placed in moderation for my approval. Be patient, I will get to it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *