Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sunspots on the Rise

The closest of the Visible Suns is, of course, the Sun. After a long period of relative inactivity the Sun is now becoming much more active.  This means that it is now sporting more sunspots and is more likely to burst forth with solar flares which can lead to disruptions to radio or cell phone traffic and brilliant displays of the northern and southern lights. For those of us with telescopes equipped with solar filters it means that the Sun is now interesting to look at again.

The latest region of interest on the Sun is sunspot group 1158.  Check out this fantastic video from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory that shows five days of the growth of this sunspot group:

Earlier this week this sunspot group unleashed a flare pointed at Earth which should lead to some nice auroral displays especially for those who live in the far north or south.


  1. "Doan look directly at the Sun, she BURN your EYES out!"

  2. Gordon, how come I can't remember where that is from?