Okay, folks, just a quick look into the past for those of you interested; this whole concept started off when a fellow author named Sarah Hoyt asked me to guest-blog for her about solar activity. Since then, she asked me back, so I have two posts on her blog about solar activity, one of which is only a few weeks old. Rather than re-post the whole thing here, I am simply going to link to her blog, to the particular articles in question.
So here's the first one, with lots of background info. It was first posted in May of 2015.
And here is the second one, which was posted in early July 2016.
I still get notifications on these from Sarah's blog, and will answer if you have questions, so feel free to post questions or comments, here or there, or in the Osborn Cosmic Weather Report group on Facebook.
For those who want even more information, I strongly recommend picking up my ebook, The Weather Out There Is Frightful: Solar/Space Weather and What It Means for the Earth and You. It's written by a professional astronomer (me) trained in spotted variable star science, for lay people with little to no science background.
CURRENT SOLAR UPDATE: As of this writing (early 4 Aug) we are currently in our fourth consecutive day of no visible sunspots on the near side. This is the fourth group of spotless days since June 1st. The total number of spotless days since that date currently totals 24 out of 64, or 37.5%. If we add in the days with only a tiny, short-lived spot group in that same time frame, we add in 9 more days, or 33 out of 64, at 51.6%.
A visible-light image of the Sun, taken by the Solar Dynamics Observatory on August 2, 2016, depicting a lack of sunspots on the solar near side.
HOUSEKEEPING NOTE: Oh, by the way, abusive comments and/or argumentative comments will be moderated on the Comet Tales blog and in the Facebook group. And I reserve the right not to answer such posts on Sarah's blog. I don't put up with trolling. I have better things to do with my time.