Drawing a Blank (June 12, 2009)
Over the past month the Sun's visible surface has been almost blank, just one or two sunspot groups the entire time (May 10 - June 10, 2009). The video clip, composed of about 4 images per day for the month, shows the rotating Sun as seen by SOHO's MDI instrument. Without sunspots, it is rather hard to see the rotation. The Sun has been quiet for almost two years, the longest period of solar minimum in about 100 years. Though there have been a few indications that activity is soon to pick up, the Sun is dawdling along in terms of solar activity: no sunspots for over 126 days this year.
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.