2013 was supposed to be the year of Solar Max, the peak of the 11-year sunspot cycle. But so far, solar activity has been fairly low, with sunspot numbers well below expectations as well as infrequent solar flares.
Back in 2008, the NOAA/NASA Solar Cycle Prediction Panel, said that due to the extrememly deep and quite solar minimum going on at that time, they anticipated Solar Cycle 24 – our current cycle – to be below average in intensity. They’ve certainly been right about that.
In this video, solar physicist Dean Pesnell of the Goddard Space Flight Center says that this solar max looks different from what we expected because it may end up being “double peaked.”
This video shows the low amount of sunspots so far in 2013:
Read more at Science@NASA