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One Possible Reason for Double-Peaked Maxima in Solar Cycles: Is a Second Maximum of Solar Cycle 24 Expected?

Abstract

We investigate solar activity by focusing on double maxima in solar cycles and try to estimate the shape of the current solar cycle (Cycle 24) during its maximum. We analyzed data for Solar Cycle 24 by using Learmonth Solar Observatory sunspot-group data collected since 2008. All sunspot groups (SGs) recorded during this time interval were separated into two groups: The first group includes small SGs [A, B, C, and H classes according to the Zurich classification], the second group consists of large SGs [D, E, and F]. We then calculated how many small and large sunspot groups occurred, their sunspot numbers [SSN], and the Zurich numbers [Rz] from their daily mean numbers as observed on the solar disk during a given month. We found that the temporal variations for these three different separations behave similarly. We also analyzed the general shape of solar cycles from Cycle 1 to 23 by using monthly International Sunspot Number [ISSN] data and found that the durations of maxima were about 2.9 years. Finally, we used the ascending time and SSN relationship and found that the maximum of Solar Cycle 24 is expected to occur later than 2011. Thus, we conclude that i) one possible reason for a double maximum in solar cycles is the different behavior of large and small sunspot groups, and ii) a double maximum is expected for Solar Cycle 24.

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Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to an anonymous referee for suggestions and helpful comments. This study was supported by the Akdeniz University Research Fund.

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Correspondence to A. Kilcik.

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Kilcik, A., Ozguc, A. One Possible Reason for Double-Peaked Maxima in Solar Cycles: Is a Second Maximum of Solar Cycle 24 Expected?. Sol Phys 289, 1379–1386 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11207-013-0407-4

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Keywords

  • Sunspot classification
  • Solar cycle