|Courtesy of NASA/SDO and the AIA, EVE, and HMI science teams.|
At the moment in October of 2019, we are the bottom of the sunspot cycle and conditions on the HF bands are pretty awful. Recent observations of the Sun however show that things are changing.
The image above shows the active regions of the Sun's corona, the outer atmosphere of the Sun. Active regions, solar flares, and coronal mass ejections will appear bright here.
On the 6th of October, two regions with different magnetic polarity were spotted which are part of the next solar cycle.
Back in April, I had a post about a report from NOAA/NASA which said that the end of Cycle 24 and start of Cycle 25 will occur no earlier than July, 2019, and no later than September, 2020. The latest observations tie in with this report.
These observations don't mean that conditions on the HF bands are going to improve all of a sudden. This is a slow process. Over the next year or so, we should begin to see more and more regions with the magnetic polarity of the new solar cycle 25 and fewer with the solar cycle 24 signature.
It's only after we have passed the solar minimum for sure that scientists can pinpoint exactly when it happened.
I would suggest that it will probably be late 2020 before we start to see any real enhancement in the HF bands. Even then, it will be a case of more openings on the likes of 21 MHz rather than 28 MHz.