While many countries are still suffering from the outbreak of COVID-19 on Earth, the sun is on lockdown of its own for two consecutive years. The star at the center of the solar system, the Sun, is in the midst of the end of a solar cycle called ‘Solar Minimum’. This cycle regularly happens during an 11-year interval with periods of higher and lower activity. Which means more solar flares and sunspots or few solar flares and sunspots.
A solar minimum is when a few numbers of sunspots are seen on the star which means it is at the end of its eleven-year solar cycle. This phenomenon is believed to be controlled by the Sun’s magnetic field which enters a periodic cycle. During the magnetic field periodic cycle, the south and north poles switch places and it takes another 11-years to switch back to its right places. Earthquakes, droughts, and cold freezing temperatures are usually a result of a Solar Minimum.
It was reported that the Sun has been blank for 76% of the time this year and 77% of the time last year, 2019. This is a record-setting for two consecutive years in a row of spotlessness on the Sun, which is regarded as a ‘Grand Solar Minimum’ by NASA.
The Sun goes through regular cycles of high & low activity. This cycle affects the frequency of space weather events, but it doesn't have a major effect on Earth's climate — even an extended minimum wouldn't have a significant effect on global temperature. https://t.co/t2Fw58ZBVt
— NASA Sun & Space (@NASASun) May 18, 2020
Some had suspected that this Solar Minimum would cause a “Mini Ice Age” as it did between the 14th and 19th centuries when the Sun was experiencing the same solar cycle. However, NASA stated it most likely wouldn’t cause an ice age due to the climate change the Earth has experienced throughout the years.