New Solar Cycle Begins

A reversed-polarity sunspot was detected today, marking solar minimum and the beginning of the 24th solar cycle (since humans first recorded the undulating pattern of solar intensity nearly 400 years ago).

Solar cycles appear to last on average about 11 years, taking a few years to rise and fall between the peaks and troughs of solar activity. The next solar maximum is expected around 2011 or 2012, just in time for the beginning of the 14th b’ak’tun cycle, as measured by the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar. To add to the synchronicity, David Hathaway (and colleagues) of the Marshall Space Flight Center are predicting this upcoming cycle will be one of the most intense ever measured.

I’m currently sorting through gigabytes of solar satellite footage – sunspots, flares and filaments – with the hopes of rigging up a sort of VJ tool and audio visualizer using video of the sun. I should have a preliminary version ready for this year’s Southeast US regional Burn, Transformus. I posted a very short rendering test a ways back, and am posting now my proposal for an art grant I was awarded just last week, which briefly outlines my ideas for the project.

Most of my video so far has come from the STEREO and TRACE archives – if anyone knows any other good sources I’m all eyes, and would be more than grateful.

This entry was cross-posted at Space Collective.

Previously: Flirting with Blindness Redux, First 3D Images from STEREO

New Solar Cycle Begins

A reversed-polarity sunspot was detected today, marking solar minimum and the beginning of the 24th solar cycle (since humans first recorded the undulating pattern of solar intensity nearly 400 years ago).

Solar cycles appear to last on average about 11 years, taking a few years to rise and fall between the peaks and troughs of solar activity. The next solar maximum is expected around 2011 or 2012, just in time for the beginning of the 14th b’ak’tun cycle, as measured by the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar. To add to the synchronicity, David Hathaway (and colleagues) of the Marshall Space Flight Center are predicting this upcoming cycle will be one of the most intense ever measured.

I’m currently sorting through gigabytes of solar satellite footage — sunspots, flares and filaments — with the hopes of rigging up a sort of VJ tool and audio visualizer using video of the sun. I should have a preliminary version ready for this year’s Southeast US regional Burn, Transformus. I posted a very short rendering test a ways back, and am posting now my proposal for an art grant I was awarded just last week, which briefly outlines my ideas for the project.

Most of my video so far has come from the STEREO and TRACE archives — if anyone knows any other good sources I’m all eyes, and would be more than grateful.

This entry was cross-posted at Space Collective.

Previously: Flirting with Blindness Redux, First 3D Images from STEREO