The sun has seen a resurgence of activity in December, with a number of cycle 24 sunspots being seen. The latest is group 1039 seen below:
2009 is ending with a flurry of sunspots. Indeed, if sunspot 1039 holds together just one more day (prediction: it will), the month of December will accumulate a total of 22 spotted days and the final tally for the year will look like this: From Spaceweather.com
The dark line is a linear least-squares fit to the data. If the trend continues exactly as shown (prediction: it won’t), sunspots will become a non-stop daily occurance no later than February 2011. Blank suns would cease and solar minimum would be over.
If the past two years have taught us anything, however, it is that the sun can be tricky and unpredictable.