BACKWARD SUNSPOT: Evidence continues to mount that the next solar cycle (Solar Cycle 24) is beginning. For the second time in a month, a backward sunspot has appeared. The first backward spot, sighted on July 31st, was tiny and fleeting. The latest, however, is big and sturdy, bipolar sunspot 905:

"Backward" means magnetically backward. Compared to how sunspots have been during the past 11-year solar cycle, the north and south magnetic poles of sunspot 905 are reversed. This is what happens when one solar cycle gives way to another--sunspots