According to the presenter of the show at the South Downs Planetarium, the Sun is not behaving itself (it’s July, 2009). Its sunspot cycle, normally a fairly regular repeating cycle from virtually none to lots and back again, is overdue its next increase.

It seems the Sun has gone to sleep:
Its spots have disappeared
And not returned when they were due.
It’s really rather weird.

They’ve mostly been as regular
As a clock, well oiled and wound.
Eleven years each cycle took
On average, it’s been found.

When last this happened, Earth got cold
From 1645
For seventy chilly years, until
The spotless Sun revived.

But now we’re in a minimum
That’s stayed a tad too long.
I hope the Sun will wake up soon,
And nothing has gone wrong. . .

[Graph: Gaughan Bloggin’]
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