Nevertheless, there has continued to be solar eruptions leading to brilliant aurora on earth:
NO SUNSPOTS, NO PROBLEM: A minor G1-class geomagnetic storm is underway on Oct. 15th. This marks the 5th consecutive day that polar geomagnetic storms have been observed–a remarkable string considering that there are NO SUNSPOTS on the face of the sun. It just goes to show that blank suns can indeed produce stormy space weather. Arctic sky watchers should remain alert for auroras as the solar wind continues to blow faster than 550 km/s.
The sun emitted two significant solar flares on the morning of Sept. 6, 2017. The first peaked at 5:10 a.m. EDT and the second, larger flare, peaked at 8:02 a.m. EDT. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun constantly, captured images of both events. Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth’s atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground, however — when intense enough — they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel.
The long slow decline to solar minimum has now shown itself. Up until now, the ramp down from solar maximum had been fast and steep, unlike past solar cycles where the ramp down is slow and steady. The last few months the ramp down had practically ceased. In this August graph the ramp down turned into a temporary ramp up. Considering the strong activity going on right now as well as the past week, I expect the September numbers to also show this increase.