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Solar Cycle 24: Boom or Bust? Who Cares and Why
Image of a satellite orbiting the Earth

An international group of scientists is currently working on an official prediction of the upcoming Solar Cycle 24, to be issued by NOAA in April 2007. Over 30 predictions, differing widely in cycle onset, duration, and intensity, are on the table. With passionate advocates on both sides, the predictions have fallen into two camps with opposite results: strong cycle vs weak cycle. A press briefing at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in San Francisco will give journalists an inside look at two very different scientific approaches to predicting the Solar Cycle 24 and their conflicting results. Speakers will present how the panel plans to arrive at a consensus by April and the implications of a strong or weak cycle prediction for specific industries and government agencies.

WHAT: NOAA/NASA press briefing at the AGU Fall Meeting

WHEN: Tuesday, December 12, 1:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time

WHERE: Moscone Convention Center South, Room 232, San Francisco

CALL IN: US and Canadian reporters unable to attend may participate toll free by phone: 1-888-481-3032, Code 115139.

WHO: Doug Biesecker, a solar physicist, NOAA's Space Environment Center (SEC), chair of the Solar Cycle 24 Prediction Panel; Bill Murtagh, space weather forecaster, customer focus representative, NOAA SEC; David Hathaway, Solar Physics Group Leader, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center; Dean Pesnell, Project Scientist, Solar Dynamics Observatory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

National economies around the globe are increasingly vulnerable to space weather as their basic commercial and military infrastructures have become reliant on electronic equipment, wireless communications, and satellite services. Accurate cycle predictions and solar storm forecasts are the first defense against damage to critical equipment.

Rani Gran
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center