Solar cycle

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Term: Solar cycle

The periodic variation in frequency or number of solar active events (sunspots, prominences, flares, and other solar activity) occurring with an interval of about 11 years. The solar cycle was discovered in 1843 by Samuel Heinrich Schwabe (1789-1875), a German apothecary and amateur astronomer, who after 17 years of observations noticed a periodic variation in the average number of sunspots seen from year to year on the solar disk. Solar cycle numbering goes back to the 18th century, when the Cycle 1 peak occurred in 1760. Cycle 23 peaked in 2000, and the following Cycle 24 will reach its maximum in 2013.

Created 2023.04.16
Last Modified 2023.04.16
Contributed by Ryan McGranaghan