Abstract We study the sunspot activity in relation to spotless days (SLDs) during the descending phase of solar cycles 11–24 to predict the amplitude of sunspot cycle 25. For this purpose, in addition to SLD, we also consider the geomagnetic activity (aa index) during the descending phase of a given cycle. A very strong correlation of the SLD (0.68) and aa index (0.86) during the descending phase of a given cycle with the maximum amplitude of next solar cycle has been estimated. The empirical relationship led us to deduce the amplitude of cycle 25 to be 99.13± 14.97 and 104.23± 17.35 using SLD and aa index, respectively as predictors. Both the predictors provide comparable amplitude for solar cycle 25 and reveal that solar cycle 25 will be weaker than cycle 24. Further, we predict that the maximum of cycle 25 is likely to occur between February and March 2024. While the aa index has been utilized extensively in the past, this work establishes SLDs as another potential candidate for predicting the characteristics of the next cycle.
Keywords Sun: activity — Sun: sunspots — Sun: rotation — methods: statistical
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