Another look at the stronger of the two flares but in a different wavelenght of ultraviolet light shows an interesting double-loop structure. Credit: NASA

Departing Sunspot Group Delivers Biggest Flare Of Year

Side-by-side sunspot groups 2565 and 2567 erupted twice with powerful flares overnight. The first occurred at 9:11 p.m. (Central Daylight) yesterday evening and the second at 12:15 a.m. this morning. Both were M-class or moderate intensity, but the second, rated at M7.6,  verged on strong and proved to be the most powerful flare yet of…
Read More

Credit: NASA/SDO

Big Sunspot Group Heats Up

(Update: The aurora’s active tonight. Not a big storm, but if you live in the northern U.S. and the sky’s clear, head out for a look. A G1 storm (Kp=5) is underway with arcs and faint rays low in the northern sky. The activity, spawned by a coronal mass ejection (CME) from the sun earlier…
Read More

Sun SDO April 18

Big Sunspot Bows Out With A Bang

Giant sunspot 2529 has provided a lot of entertainment this past week for solar observers. Several times the diameter of the Earth, the sunspot was easily visible through a #14 welder’s glass and a stunning sight through even the smallest telescopes. Most beginners think of telescopes as night sky instruments only, but they’re just as…
Read More

Sun SDO combo UV Dec28_2015FEA

Aurora May Drop By Your New Year’s Eve Party

Big sunspot group 2473 cut loose a long-lasting M-class flare earlier today. The explosion produced a fast-moving bubble of plasma directed toward Earth. Plasma, a hot mix of negatively-charged electrons and positively-charged ions (atoms that have lost an electron) may look like a gas but it behaves differently enough to be considered its own state of…
Read More

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…
Read More