See NewScientist's article ''Maverick' sunspot heralds new solar cycle':
A new 11-year solar cycle has officially begun, now that a sunspot has been found with a magnetic field pointing in the opposite direction from those in the previous cycle. But researchers are still divided over how active – and potentially damaging to Earth's satellites and power grids – the new cycle will be.
Sunspots are relatively cool regions where magnetic fields from within the Sun have risen up and broken through its surface. They vary in number – going from a minimum to a maximum and back to a minimum again – about every 11 years, the same timescale on which the Sun's magnetic poles reverse direction.
The Sun is also the solar repository for galactic records - good ole Sol!