So what's up with the sun why is solar max proving to be a little on the mini side? An interesting public lecture entitled "Solar Max - Why No Big Bangs Yet?" presented by Kobus Olckers, SANSA Space Weather Officer, on 29 January 2013 at SANSA Space Science.
The sun goes through an 11-year sunspot cycle indicating levels of solar activity. Solar minimum which refers to a period when the number of sunspots is lowest bringing less solar activity and solar maximum when sunspots are most numerous usually bringing more frequent solar activity and a greater likelihood of solar flares. "However during the last year of solar maximum the sun has been unusually quiet" explained Olckers during his presentation to members of the public, SANSA staff and students.