A photo taken in far ultraviolet light reveals how hot solar gases trace the outlines of the complex magnetic field that swirls about the sunspot region 2396. Credit: NASA/SDO

Massive Sunspot Seeths / Weekend Aurora Alert

Oh my gosh.  There’s a big sunspot group staring at us today. This Cyclopean eye extends some 93,000 miles (150,000 km), the equivalent of 11.6 Earths! If you have a safe solar filter, such as a #14 welder’s glass, you can easily see it as a dark blemish on the sun’s otherwise perfect disk. Moreover, this center of solar…
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Sun Soho feature

Solstice Aurora Coming? / Celestial Triple Treat / Wet Comet

Bam! Sunspot region 2371 let loose a hefty M3-class flare Thursday afternoon that propelled a ballooning cloud of high speed particles into space. Good news. Some of it’s headed for Earth, and we’re likely to get a taste of it on the first night of summer. NOAA space weather forecasters are calling for a G1 (minor) geomagnetic…
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Region 2339 cut loose a powerful X-2 class solar flare just as it was coming around the eastern edge of the Sun on May 5. Credit: NASA/SDO

Sun Heats Up / Russian Spaceship To Fall From The Sky Tonight

A recent X2-class flare and the appearance of a large new sunspot group tell us the Sun’s awoken from its slumbers. Last week, hardly a spot pocked the solar disk. We took this (correctly) as a sign of the approaching minimum of the sunspot cycle. But the Sun’s like an old-fashioned general store, where there’s…
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Auroras Forecast For Thursday Night March 12-13

Man, I like this forecast from the space weather crew at NOAA: “The combined glancing blows from three CMEs are expected to arrive at Earth. By Day 3 (tomorrow evening March 12), G1 (minor) geomagnetic storms are likely as the brunt of the CME impacts are expected to begin.” Yeah! Something about the word “brunt”…
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Solar Flares And Gobs Of Spots Make For Fiery Fall Finale

The Sun cares not for Earth’s seasons. It follows its own cycle of high and low activity. So while winter will soon be underway in the northern hemisphere, things have been heating up in recent days on our home star. Nine sunspot groups speckle the Sun today with two of them – regions 2241 and…
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