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Is solar maximum 2013 over?

There has been a dearth of solar activity the past couple of months leading one to wonder if solar maximum 2013 has come to a premature end. 2013 was meant to be the peak of the current cycle, and there have been some stunning displays of the aurora australis in Tasmania this year (eg March 17th, Coles Bay). However, since July there has been very little solar activity at all. In fact, there have been basically no large flares at all in the past six weeks, and only very small and inactive sunspot regions. The only glimmer of hope perhaps is that some scientists are predicting that solar maximum 2013 could indeed be “twin peaked“, and that the current lack of activity could be a lull before a return in late 2013 – early 2014. Of course, that is summer here in Tasmania meaning shorter nights so any displays could be lost in the twilight.

The lack of activity has an upside – I have had time to revisit old images and have found some really nice ones in addition to what I shared at the time of the activity. The following shots are from the night of October 8, 2012. You can see the original post here.

Is solar maximum 2013 over? Aurora Australis Tasmania, October 8 2012.

Is solar maximum 2013 over? Aurora Australis Tasmania, October 8 2012.

Is solar maximum 2013 over? Aurora Australis Tasmania, October 8 2012.

Aurora Australis Tasmania, October 8 2012.

Is solar maximum 2013 over? Aurora Australis Tasmania, October 8 2012.Is solar maximum 2013 over? Aurora Australis Tasmania, October 8 2012.

Aurora Australis Tasmania, October 8 2012.

Is solar maximum 2013 over? Aurora Australis Tasmania, October 8 2012.

Aurora Australis Tasmania, October 8 2012.

Don’t forget, I have a dedicated page with links to all my posts regarding the aurora in Tasmania. Also, a selection of my aurora prints are available for purchase in my Tasmanian photography online gallery. Make sure you have a look 🙂

I will post some more aurora australis photos shortly, from a shoot back in May 2013.

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Luke O'Brien

About Luke

Luke O'Brien runs a stall at Hobart's popular Salamanca Market every Saturday where his prints and cards are available for purchase. Follow Luke's photographic adventures on Twitter at @lukeobrienphoto, at his Facebook page or by subscribing to his email newsletter.