I began looking at the Sun in white light in 2007 and got the bug for H-Alpha observing in 2008. There were plenty of predictions that activity would increase in 2008 and 2009 however as some of you will remember quite the opposite occurred and the Sun went into the deepest minimum observed in 100 years. Visible activity on our nearest star became practically non-existant to the chagrin on observers and the puzzlement of solar astronomers.
Well, two years later NASA sponsored research has developed a model that may just explain this activity.
“Plasma currents deep inside the sun interfered with the formation of sunspots and prolonged the solar minimum,” says lead author Dibyendu Nandi of the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research in Kolkata.
Update: NASA have released more information here