Sunspots and solar activity captured by astronomer

David (Deddy) Dayag, an astrophotographer from Israel, recently added remarkable time-lapse footage to his YouTube collection Shot in dramatic black and white, the 30-second-long film focusses on solar activity occurring on just a section of our solar system’s star.

Mr Dang today tweeted news of his latest video with the announcement: “New active region has came into our view from Earth.

I can’t seem to get used to how amazing the sun is!

David ‘Deddy’ Dayag

“Close up on the sunspot from the time-lapse video. I can’t seem to get used to how amazing the Sun is!

“I will do many more of this in the next few years, following the sun’s active cycle.”

The footage clearly depicts two sunspots of scales so huge they are actually approximately three times the size of our world.

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The astronomy enthusiast adds the original two hour shoot was only curtailed due to “a lot of clouds making it unusable for a video”.

The end result was achieved with the use of a 150mm Cosmos refractor & Daystar quark halpha filter on a Celestron AVX mount, combined with a ZWO asi178mm camera.

Because the footage was shot in November last year, the astrophotographer has yet to capture the coming sunspot cycle – Cycle 25 – considered by some to be a particularly strong one.

Direct contradicting to the official forecast from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Space Weather Prediction Center, scientists led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCR) have forecasted the sunspot cycle that kicked-off in the autumn could be one of the strongest since records began in 1755.

The research team believes Sunspot Cycle 25 should peak with a maximum sunspot number.

This may well range between approximately 210 and 260, putting the new cycle in the company of the most violent ever observed.

To put this into perspective, Sunspot Cycle 24, peaked with a sunspot number of 116.

And the consensus forecast from a panel of experts organised by space agency NASA and NOAA forecasted Sunspot Cycle 25 will be similarly weak.

However, should the new NCAR prediction bear-out, it would lend support to the research team’s unorthodox theory.

This forecasts the Sun is in fact on an overlapping 22-year magnetic cycle, interacting to produce the approximately 11-year sunspot cycle as a byproduct.

The 22-year cycles regularly repeat and could be crucial in creating accurate predictions of the timing and nature of sunspot cycles.

This could revolutionise understanding the effects they produce, according to the study’s authors.

NCAR Deputy Director Scott McIntosh, a solar physicist who led the study, said: “Scientists have struggled to predict both the length and the strength of sunspot cycles because we lack a fundamental understanding of the mechanism that drives the cycle.

“If our forecast proves correct, we will have evidence that our framework for understanding the sun’s internal magnetic machine is on the right path.”

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