AAS 200th meeting, Albuquerque, NM, June 2002
Session 28. Living with A Star
Oral, Monday, June 3, 2002, 2:00-3:30pm, San Miguel

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[28.08] Smoothed Annual Mean Sunspot Number at Solar Cycle 23 Maximum: Our Forecast in Retrospect and Implications for Cycle 24

H. S. Ahluwalia (Univ of New Mexico, Dept of Phys and Astro)

It is well known that solar activity controls the space weather; thereby it affects the quality of life on earth. As such it is highly desireable that its level be forecast in a very reliable manner, sufficiently ahead of time, to allow for a proper risk management planning of our economy. Sometime ago, we discovered a new solar frequency in Ap index data (1932-97) and proposed a new procedure for predicting the smoothed annual mean sunspot number at cycle 23 maximum; we predicted that cycle 23 will be moderate (a la cycles 17 and 20) and its timeline will lie well below those for the most active cycles of the 20th century (cycles 18, 19, 21, 22). I reported on our forecasting technique at the 198th AAS meeting at Pasadena, CA. Some solar astronomers criticized our prediction as being overly on the low side and not to be taken seriously. We have just gone past the maximum for cycle 23. As of the end of March 2002, our forecast appears to be right on the mark. We shall review the solar, interplanetary, cosmic ray and geophysical data as of the end of May 2002 and describe the present state of cycle 23 in relation to those observed earlier over a 400 year period and discuss the important lessons learned by us from this experience and the implications for cycle 24 forecast. This work is supported by NSF Grant: ATM-9904989.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34
© 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.