The story of the same week, just three years apart. Solar activity during August 4 to 10, 2009 compared to the activity the same week in 2012.
The fairly dramatic increase in solar activity from 2009 to the present is easy to see in a side-by-side comparison from then and now taken by Solar and Heliospheric Observatory's (SOHO) LASCO C3 instrument (Aug. 4-10, 2012). Back in 2009, the Sun was still close to solar minimum period, with very little solar activity. At solar minimum, the visible-light corona is confined nearly to a plane, but closer to solar maximum, features appear at all solar latitudes. Currently, there is usually some activity every day, as witnessed in this one-week video. The maximum of this cycle of solar activity is expected next year. Credit: NASA / ESA SOHO