Near Record Quiet (September 4, 2009)
The Sun had no sunspots for 51 days in a row July 11 - Aug. 30, 2009 -- just nearly breaking the record of 52 days for the longest quiet period for this solar cycle. That record was set last summer. As we watch 50 days of that period with STEREO (Behind) in a wavelength of extreme UV light, we see some activity, such as prominences popping about here and there, but no active regions strong enough to form a sunspot. Late on Aug. 31, a little sunspot emerged (not shown in the clip that ends on Aug. 28th) to interrupt the long string of quiet days. Even so, this little sunspot measured about nearly 3000 km (1800 miles) across. Nevertheless, it is likely that the current year's number of blank days will be the longest in about 100 years. It is not shown many signs of picking up the pace so far.
SOHO began its Weekly Pick some time after sending a weekly image or video clip to the American Museum of Natural History (Rose Center) in New York City. There, the SOHO Weekly Pick is displayed with some annotations on a large plasma display.
If your institution would also like to receive the same Weekly Pick from us for display (usually in Photoshop or QuickTime format), please send your inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.