Actually, It's 71 Days Without A Sunspot

READ ON FOR THE SPOT-THE-SPOT CHALLENGE

Confusion reigns tonight on the date the last sunspot has been seen. Until yesterday, it had been July 18 with sunspot #1000.

But all of a sudden yesterday, a “pore” with a date of Aug 21 has been classified as “sunspot” by the SIDC and then the NOAA. Trouble is, nobody seems to have seen it apart from one observer in Catania, Italy.

Probably, as per Leif Svalgaard’s comment at Anthony Watt’s blog:

really, no spots or one tiny one doesn’t make any difference

Also, from another of Svalgaard’s comments

There are indications that the modern counts are too high with possible repercussions for reconstructions of TSI and the climate debate.

But if that’s true, then I can contend that the current spotless period is 71 days, starting with the end of sunspot #999 on June 23, 2008. And continuing to this day.

That makes the current spotless period the second longest ever (behind the 92 days of Apr 8 to Jul 8, 1913).

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Sunspot #1000 in fact, was likely no “proper sunspot” at all. By that I mean a sunspot that would not have been spotted in the past, given its extremely tiny size.

The SOHO MDI archive may show something but only if the observer knows where to look (no I will not give clues). Chances are, none would have spotted it in 1913 either.

AND NOW FOR THE SPOT-THE-SPOT CHALLENGE: I am posting the July 17-20 series (remember, sunspot #1000 has been reported for July 18-20…good luck with finding it!):

(I RECOMMEND CLEANING YOUR DISPLAY FIRST…)

SOHO Jul 17
SOHO Jul 17
SOHO Jul 18
SOHO Jul 18
SOHO Jul 19
SOHO Jul 19
SOHO Jul 20
SOHO Jul 20

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(spoiler ahead)

 

 

Here’s the one and only one picture of sunspot #1000 I have found on the internet, in an Australian internet forum. Its author clarifies, though:

The spot is not as big as shown, just a product of the poor seeing/focus

Sunspot #1000
Sunspot #1000

Just compare all the above with the pictures from Jun 21, where a proper sunspot is visible indeed:

SOHO Jun 21
SOHO Jun 21

How many pores and microspots were flickering in and out of existence during the Maunder Minimum, one wonders…