As hams, we live and die with the sunspot cycle. (OK, OK, that’s being a bit drastic, but you get my point.) And, it’s no secret that we’re at that point in the cycle where sunspots are few and far between. It seems that it’s been so long since we’ve gotten any good news on this front, that some hams are speculating that we’re entering another Maunder Minimun, the years between 1645 and 1715 when there was virtually no sunspot activity.
Well, fret not says NASA solar physicist David Hathaway. In the article, “What’s Wrong with the Sun? (Nothing),” he notes:
“There have been some reports lately that Solar Minimum is lasting longer than it should. That’s not true. The ongoing lull in sunspot number is well within historic norms for the solar cycle.”
The article is chock full of data and charts, including the one below:
I won’t attempt to quote the whole thing, but the gist of it is that there’s nothing wrong with the sun, and we should start seeing more spots soon. I guess time will tell.