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A VERY GOOD PERSEID METEOR SHOWER: Forecasters are predicting the best Perseid meteor shower in years this weekend. On Saturday night, Aug. 12-13, Earth will pass through a stream of debris from Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle, causing dozens of meteors per hour to streak out of the constellation Perseus. The nearly New Moon will make the display unusually easy to see from dark-sky sites. Book a campsite and enjoy the show: Observing tips.
SOLAR CYCLE UPDATE: This website, Spaceweather.com, began in 1997 with the first stirrings of Solar Cycle 23 (SC23). The timing was right. In the years that followed, SC23 produced the strongest solar flare of the Space Age (X45), the infamous Halloween Storms of 2003, and multiple episodes of Northern Lights as far south as Texas and California. Could it happen again? New Solar Cycle 25 is heading in the same direction:
This summer, sunspot counts have hit their highest values in more than 20 years, sharply exceeding official forecasts and putting them squarely in the ballpark of Solar Cycle 23. It’s just like old times.
With Solar Max not expected for another year (or more), sunspot counts should continue to increase, further widening the gap between Solar Cycle 25 and its historically weak predecessor Solar Cycle 24. If, indeed, Solar Cycle 25 does leapfrog Solar Cycle 24 and land in the vicinity of Solar Cycle 23, we can expect at least 3 to 5 years of high solar activity in the years ahead. Stay tuned. Solar flare alerts: SMS Text