Sun with Sunspots - Solar Max 2001 and Solar Min 2005

Credit: SOHO (ESA & NASA)

These two images of the Sun show how the number of sunspots varies over the course of a sunspot cycle. The image on the left, with many sunspots, was taken near solar max in March 2001. The righthand image, in which no spots are evident, was taken near solar min in January 2005.