The Royal Observatory of Belgium’s Solar-Terrestrial Centre of Excellence (STCE) has asserted that the reverse polarity sunspot group 2720 observed in late August belongs to the current solar cycle — Cycle 24 — and does not represent the start of Cycle 25.
“Because of its reversed polarity, some websites claimed sunspot group 2720 was possibly one of the first groups of new solar Cycle 25,” the Centre said. “This is simply not true, in view of its very low 8° latitude. The next solar Cycle 25 sunspot group should have both reversed magnetic polarity and much higher heliographic latitude, typically 20° to 40° from the equator. Only two tiny, short-lived numbered sunspot groups are currently assigned to new solar Cycle 25, sunspot group 2620 in December 2016 and 2694 in January 2018.”