Solar cycle 24 We are currently more than seven years into Solar Cycle 24 and it appears the solar maximum of this cycle was reached in April 2014 during a spike in activity (current location indicated by arrow).
Going back to 1755, there have been only a few solar cycles in the previous 23 that have had a lower number of sunspots during its maximum phase.
Solar wind decreases and sun’s magnetic field weakens during solar minimums making it easier for cosmic rays to reach the Earth.
This is a more dangerous time for astronauts as the increase in potent cosmic rays can easily shatter a strand of human DNA.
There are some exceptions to this rule: for example, the Japanese often quote their currency as the base to other currencies.