Today, The American Geophysical Union begins their one-week fall meeting in Washington, which includes remarks from NASA officials and a variety of space panel discussions. For the first time, the conference is hosted in the nation’s capital, and it marks the centennial of the nonprofit group where Earth and space scientists are members.

The organizers of the event explained that it would put a spotlight on and celebrate the latest scientific discoveries, insights, and advances in the many fields of research that AGU encompasses. 

The organizers added that hosting it Washington is a unique chance— to band together and show the world that scientific collaboration is international, interdisciplinary, and indispensable; as well as to portray the value of their science to policymakers, thought leaders, and the public.

What's more, NASA has just announced that the time has come to say goodbye to one of the most famous explorers of our age: Voyager 2. The spacecraft has entered interstellar space.

The announcement comes before the news conference at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union, which you can watch live on beginning at 11 a.m. EST (1600 GMT), thanks to NASA.

Voyager 2 was launched in 1977 and has spent more than 40 years exploring our solar system. It famously became the only probe to ever study Neptune and Uranus during planetary flybys. 

Now, it has joined its predecessor Voyager 1 in interstellar space, a milestone scientists couldn’t exactly predict.  What’s even more interesting is that humanity's second crossing doesn't look precisely like data from the first journey out. 

Cycle 24, the current sunspot cycle is believed to last approximately from the year 2008 to the year 2019. Thus, we haven’t reached the lowest ebb of the cycle yet, and no one knows precisely when that will happen. However, solar physicists believe it’s probably close. Cycle 24 has been strange, with fewer dark sunspots visible on the sun’s surface than previously thought. 

Now that the next cycle is set to start, experts are beginning to project what will happen when the sun revs up again and begins generating more sunspots. Will the next sunspot cycle be less strange than this one, or will we see a decreased number of spots again?

Earlier predictions (such as this one) have proposed that the coming sunspot cycle 25 will be weaker than the present cycle 24. However, based on their model, Nandi and Bhowmik think cycle 25 could be similar to or even stronger than 24. They expect the next cycle to start rising about a year from now and to peak in 2024. Their work was recently published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Communications.

Scientists have been asking the question: will a significantly weak sunspot cycle 25 – in the next ten years – temporarily mitigate ongoing global warming? 

Bhowmik and Nandi say no but what do you think and why? 

Let us know in the comments below!