Archive for July 21, 2016

07/21/2016 – Ephemeris – This sunspot cycle is past peak

July 21, 2016 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, July 21st.  Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 2 minutes, setting at 9:20, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:18.  The Moon, 2 days past full, will rise at 10:20 this evening.

The Sun is on the down side in this sunspot cycle.  Sunspots increase and decrease on the Sun in a roughly 11 year cycle.  This sunspot cycle wasn’t a very high peak in numbers of sunspots.  The peak of sunspot numbers occurred in both 2012 and 2014, an odd double peak.  The peak in activity for this cycle is among the lowest since systematic observations have been recorded over the last 200 or so years.  This year so far has seen 16 Sun spotless days according to  There was none last year and only one in 2014.  Coming up to this sunspot peak saw an extended period of years with mostly spotless days.  The Sun is actually brighter when it has lots sunspots, than when it is not.  Odd but true.  In not so distant past sunspots have been missing for years.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.


All recorded sunspot cycles

All the recorded sunspot cycles back to the 18th century. Credit: Dr. David Hathaway, NASA /ARC.