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…
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Sun SDO closeup

Sun Sports A Big Black Spot, Leaky Hole

A very distinguished sunspot blackens the sun today. It’s more than twice the size of Earth and plainly visible to the naked eye as a small, dark dot through a safe solar filter such as a #14 welder’s glass. The spot is the “leader” in a small group of sunspots called Region 2529. Sunspots are…
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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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An enormous filament of incandescent hydrogen gas some 8 million miles long detached from the Sun on April 28-29 and shoved off into space. Credit: NASA/ESA

Quiet Sun Throws A Spectacular Fit

After successive bouts of northern lights and a very spotty Sun during the first half of April, things have been VERY QUIET this week with no auroras in the forecast and no sunspots either. That didn’t stop the Sun from releasing an incredible plasma blast on April 28-29. Such a huge release of flaming hydrogen…
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