Time flies... Roll on Solar Cycle 25...?

Monday, 4 May 2020 - 14:22 UTC

Time flies... Roll on Solar Cycle 25...?

Time flies. Another month has passed and summer along with shorter nights is closing in for us northern hemisphere sky watchers.

Looking back at the previous month, April turned out to be an exciting month for various reasons. April is the month which the NOAA SWPC expects solar minimum to occur but our Sun actually showed signs of life with numerous small sunspot regions popping up at the end of the month. Expect this trend to continue as Solar Cycle 25 begins to gain traction in the coming year or so.
 
Numerous small coronal mass ejections were also seen leaving the Sun and one of those surprisingly impacted our planet on 20 April sparking a minor G1 geomagnetic storm. The 20 April coronal mass ejection was a text book example of a coronal mass ejection impact in which Earth passed trough the core of the plasma cloud. The interplanetary magnetic field strength (Bt) was very consistent for half a day with the north-south direction of the IMF (Bz) being negative (southward) for multiple hours before smoothly rotating to a positive (northward) orientation.
 
A ton of traffic visited SpaceWeatherLive this month. Highlights were 8 April when a coronal hole solar wind stream affected our planet and of course 20 April when the previously discussed coronal mass ejection passed our planet but there was also a steady flow of traffic on all of the other days in April. The moon phases calendar pages are actually very popular and frequently visited by people from all over the world. A personal highlight for me was 3 April as I captured some brilliant aurora from my balcony which I streamed live to our YouTube channel. Be sure to watch it below and subscribe to our YouTube channel if you haven't done so already:
 
In fact, as crazy as it may sound in solar minimum... we never had as much traffic in one month on our website as we have had this month. This is truly amazing considering we are so close to solar minimum... we are exciting to see what happens when Solar Cycle 25 kicks off! We are happy to have you along for the ride and thank you for your continued support! Do feel free to leave any comments or suggestions on our forums, social media or by carrier pigeon to my balcony. We love your feedback and are always aiming to improve the website and mobile app in any way we can! Thanks!

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Last X-flare:2017/09/10X8.2
Last M-flare:2020/05/29M1.1
Last geomagnetic storm:2020/04/20Kp5 (G1)
Number of spotless days in 2020:123
Current stretch spotless days:31

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