For the past couple of years, our Sun has been at the minimum of its 11-year activity cycle. Its face has been virtually spotless for months on end, and there've been no dire alerts of titanic solar storms about to slam into Earth.
The Sun appeared spotless on June 19, 2009 — as it has virtually every day for the past year. SOHO / MDI
The problem is that this "quiet Sun" has continued far too long, and a special task force predicted that the transition from the just-ended Cycle 23 to the upcoming Cycle 24 would come around March 2008. It didn't.
Looking forward to CFH magic for the next bball season, Georges style.
Since this is, in a way, an astronomy thread, I want to put in a plug for Philip Plait. He's written some very entertaining books about astronomy issues, and runs a great blog. He's a fellow skeptic and champion for good science. Here's his blog:
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