Solar Minimum; Solar Maximum
Our Sun goes through an eleven year cycle of solar activity, and sunspots and flares will be reaching their peak next year. The NASA images above, captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), are photographic proof.
Increased solar activity can mean good things for aurora-watchers, but can be disruptive to our satellites and communications if some of that million-degree plasma gets ejected in our direction. That’s hot stuff.
Random fact: The NASA SDO mission has a chicken named Camilla for a mascot, with a Twitter account. But shouldn’t it be called a “Clucker” account, since it’s a chicken?