Some astronomers expect our Sun to enter its solar maximum in 2025, if not before. The solar maximum, the highest peak in solar activity during a solar cycle, means the Sun’s magnetic field will be at its strongest and most disordered. That means Earth may have to deal with more inclement solar weather in the coming years.
Every solar cycle typically lasts around 11 years. Solar maximums usually occur in the middle of a cycle. These center peaks can be exceptionally powerful, like the one expected this cycle, or they can be weaker, like the one seen in the last solar maximum between 2021 and 2014.
Ultimately, the general strength of the solar maximum we experience in 2025 will determine just how harsh the solar weather is. It will therefore determine if we experience powerful solar flares or coronal mass ejections, which can then cause issues here on Earth, too.
These points in our solar cycle occur so frequently that they are unlikely to have any impact on an individual basis. However, the intensified solar weather could lead to more radio blackouts and possible interference with spacecraft we have out in orbit around Earth.
Radiation from these explosions could also pose health risks to astronauts, passengers and crew of aircraft at high altitudes. The solar maximum that is predicted for 2025 will be stronger than any previous one.
Exactly how much more powerful remains to be seen, but we do know that the Sun has been unleashing X-class solar flares over the past couple of years as the activity levels on the Sun continue to rise further toward that peak. It’s also likely we’ll see more aurora borealis appearing in the coming years as the solar cycle peaks.
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