The Sun has been spotless for two weeks straight, says meteorologist Anthony Watts. This makes it the longest stretch with zero sunspots since April 2010
Solar cycle 24, the solar cycle we are now in, has been historically weak, says Watts. “There have already been 26 spotless days in 2017 (34% of the entire year) and this follows 32 spotless days last year which occurred primarily during the latter part of the year.
“The blank look to the sun will increase in frequency over the next couple of years leading up to the next solar minimum – probably to be reached in late 2019 or 2020.”
Third weakest solar cycle since 1755
“By one measure, the current solar cycle is the third weakest since record keeping began in 1755 and it continues a weakening trend since solar cycle 21 peaked in 1980.
“One of the impacts of low solar activity is the increase of cosmic rays that can penetrate into the Earth’s upper atmosphere and this has some important consequences.”