What is a solar cycle?

Solar Cycle 24 is the shortest cycle of the sun’s 11-year orbital cycle. It generally occurs in a very weak alignment between sunspots, with the second and third sunspots having very little influence on the rest of the cycle.

The cycle begins in July with an orange-red sun, followed by a period of clear sky and this is the start of the typical solar activity cycle.

Solar Cycle 24 is sometimes called a ‘window’ solar cycle, because the sun becomes visible at a specific point in each month.