Published on May 10, 2017
THE SUN IS BLANK: Today the sun is blank--no sunspots. The disk of our star is completely featureless.
This is the 31st day in 2017 that the sun has been without spots. Cumulatively, it adds up to an entire month of spotlessness--and it's only May. For comparison, the sun was blank on 32 days in the whole of 2016. The accelerating pace of spotless suns is a sign that Solar Minimum is approaching.
Solar Minimum is yin to the yang of Solar Maximum, a natural part of the sun's ~11 year sunspot cycle. Contrary to popular belief, Solar Minimum is not boring ...only different. It brings a time of enhanced cosmic rays, pink auroras, a collapsing ionosphere and accumulating space junk. With action like that, who needs sunspots?
A coronal hole is emerging over the sun's southeastern limb.
It will be geoeffective in the next few days. The fast solar wind from this coronal hole can cause minor to moderate storms.
Solar activity was at very low levels. There were no spotted regions on the visible disk. No Earth-directed CMEs were observed in available coronagraph imagery.
Solar activity is expected to remain at very low levels throughout the forecast period (10-12 May).
Clips, images credit: NOAA/SWPC, solarham.net, spaceweather.com & NASA/SDO
Music credit: YouTube Audio Library
Phase Three - Huma-Huma