Yesterday NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center published its October monthly graph, showing the sun’s developing sunspot cycle in comparison with the consensis prediction made by the solar science community in May 2009.
Sunspot activity in September clearly jumped, though it still remains far below predictions. Prepare for the weakest solar maximum since the 1810s!
Note also that today the Sun is blank, with no sunspots, the first time this has happened since August. At that time I speculated that this might “be the last time the Sun will be blank for years as it continues to ramp up to its next solar maximum.” Obviously not. The question now is whether today will be the finale in blankness for this minimum.
From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him. The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today. He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future. Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.