Amateur telescope photographer Thierry Legault has gained renown in recent years taking photographs of spacecraft in orbit… from the ground, with them either reflecting sunlight as they cross the terminator, or silhouetted by the moon, or in recent days, silhouetted by a near spotless sun.
His most recent accomplishment is this solar silhouette of the International Space Station docked with Space Shuttle Atlantis on its STS-132 mission. While many have marvelled at his accomplishment, we’ve heard less about the continuing near-spotless state of the sun in his photograph. This one sunspot region counted enough on May 22nd to make the daily sunspot count be 15!
It appears that the sunspot and 10.7 progression for Solar Cycle 24 have hit a bit of a roadblock in recent months, according to NOAA’s Solar Cycle Progression and Prediction Center.