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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Shhh! Don’t Wake The Sun

Who doesn’t enjoy a nap on a lazy summer afternoon? That’s what the sun’s been up to past few days. Instead of a steady parade of sunspots, it put its pencils away and went to sleep. For a time on July 17 not a singe magnetic blemish marred the entire Earth-facing hemisphere. The last time that…
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Wow, That’s A Lot Of Sunspots! Aurora In The Forecast April 19-20

I can’t recall seeing the sun this peppered with sunspots in a long time. Through the scope this morning I counted nine separate groups. No single spot or group stood out as unusually large, but the combined effect of seeing so many blemishes in one glance made an impression. I encourage you to point your…
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Keep Your Eyes Open For Aurora Tonight Nov. 8-9

There’s been a jump in auroral activity tonight possibly related to recent flares from the large sunspot group numbered 1890. This Jupiter-sized group has erupted with several X-class flares this week. Starting yesterday and continuing for the next few days the region will face Earth; with more M and X-class likely that means continuing chances…
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Sun SDO UV May 14_FEA

A 3rd X-class Flare Rocks The Sun

Solar activity’s been rising like nobody’s business. Two of the year’s most powerful flares fired off from the sun’s backside late Sunday and at least 8 spot groups speckle the sun’s white-hot surface today. Now we can add a third strong X-ray class flare, an X3.2 that spewed a vast cloud of high-speed solar gases…
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