I was going to test the latest batch of our Sunspotter telescopes today. The Sunspotter is a folded path telescope that's used to view and count sunspots without frying your retinas.
The unit uses three mirrors and two lenses to produce the image. Light enters the objective lens and gets magnified. It then reflects off of three mirrors in a traingular path, and finally passes through a focusing lens. A magnified image of the sun is thus projected on a card for easy viewing. In this way, you can stand off to the side of a Sunspotter and look at the sun, without ever posing any risk to your eyes.
However, as I was testing the telescopes today, I noticed an interesting thing: there were no sunspots. Just to be sure it wasn't an equipment problem, I double checked the reference material.
As I suspected, no sunspots today. Beyond the immediate annoyance of not being able to get my work done, I also worry if this is a portent of things to come.