For the third day in a row, the sun is blank–no sunspots. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory photographed the featureless face of our star on May 12th



This marks the 32nd day in 2017 that the sun has been without spots. Cumulatively, it adds up to more than a month of blank suns–and it’s only May. For comparison, it took all 12 months of 2016 for the sun to accumulate 32 spotless days. The accelerating pace of spotlessness 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? Stay tuned for more blank suns.


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