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My February birthday fund-raising campaign for Behind the Black it now over. I sincerely and with deep gratitude thank all those who donated. Without your support I could not keep doing this, not so much because of the need for income to pay the bills, but because it tells me that there are people out there who want me to do this work. For those who did not contribute during the campaign, please consider adding your vote of support to Behind the Black, 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.

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Sunspot update: After going through the roof last month, sunspots drop into the attic this month

With the start of another month NOAA this week updated its graph that tracks the number of sunspots on the Sun’s Earth-facing hemisphere. As I do every month, I have posted that updated graph below, adding some additional details to provide some context.

Last month the number of sunspots rocketed upward to the highest seen since 2014, and only the second time since November 2002 that the Sun was that active. In February those high numbers dropped, though the sunspot activity during the month remained well above the 2020 prediction by NOAA’s panel of solar scientists.

February 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.

Since last month the people at NOAA who post this graph decided to add one detail, the margin of error for the 2020 prediction, what they label as the “predicted range.” This is a reasonable addition, since the prediction was always considered an estimate, not precise.

This range suggests that the 2020 prediction is not failing as badly as it appeared previously. Since the beginning of the ramp up to maximum in 2020 the actual sunspot numbers have been consistently above the predicted red curve, suggesting the maximum in 2025 would be much more active than predicted. By showing the predicted range, NOAA’s scientists make it obvious that those higher counts were not that far different than the upper end of the prediction. In fact, except for last month, the actual numbers month-to-month tracked quite closely to that upper end.

Even so, the numbers still suggest that the prediction of NOAA’s panel was too conservative, and that the outlier prediction of a high solar maximum by a handful of dissenting solar scientists could still be right.

For example, the drop in February merely brought the sunspot count closer to the high end of the 2020 NOAA prediction, but still well above it. The trend lines still point to a more active solar maximum than the 2020 prediction.

Based on the Sun’s 11-year sunspot cycle, maximum should occur sometime around 2025, about two years from now. We shall therefore not have long to wait to find out whether that maximum will be weak or strong. If strong, the ramp up in the next year will continue over the next year. If weak, that ramp up should stall, so that it remains hovering at the level of activity it is right now, and stay there for the next three to four years. The previous three solar maximums all did this, staying near the top of activity for three to four years before sunspot activity began to decline to solar minimum.

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.


  • Phill O

    The more informative graph would have many more cycles displayed, to help folk get the complete picture. However, that would not be helpful if one has an alternate objective (lying with statistics).

    Too bad NOAA does not provide this info.

  • Phill O: You are wrong. NOAA’s graph displays ALL past cycles, and gives you the option to pick and choose and even zoom in on one or more.

  • Andi

    Minor edit in first paragraph: “ I have posted”

  • Andi: Thank you as always. Fixed.

  • Phill O

    I stand corrected. One needs to click on your “graph” link and then click “ALL” on NOAA’s site.

    They do not have the historical data for the 10.7 cm band though.

    It was very informative to view the historical sunspot data.

  • BLSinSC

    Interesting – sunspots UP – we’re warmer here – sunspots DOWN – cooling off here! Gee, could there be ANY connection? I’ve noticed the SAME PHENOMENON when I adjust the THERMOSTAT in my HOME!

  • BLSinSC: You are doing the same as the global warmists. Daily weather is merely random local fluctuations and is completely separate from large scale long term climate shifts. Nor is the sunspot effect, if confirmed, immediate. It takes time to show up.

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