Giant Sunspot Seen Through Dusty Skies

by Jason Major on March 8, 2012

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Sunspot region 1429 photographed from New Mexico. © David Tremblay.

The enormous sunspot region responsible for all the recent fuss and flares was easily visible from Earth yesterday… easily visible, that is, with the help of a natural filter provided by a New Mexico dust storm!

Photographer David Tremblay captured this image on March 7 through the dust-laden sky of Alto, New Mexico. Active Region 1429 can be seen on the upper right side of the Sun’s disk. Many times the size of Earth, this sunspot region has already erupted with several X-class solar flares and sent numerous CMEs our way — with potential for more to come!

“Blowing dust from the Tularosa Basin is so very dense that observing the sun was possible with the naked eye this evening,” noted David on SpaceWeather.com, where you can see more of his solar photos taken about the same time.

The image above was captured at 560mm with a Canon MKlll ESO1D.

View more of David’s photography here.

Image © David Tremblay. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

About 

A graphic designer in Rhode Island, Jason writes about space exploration on his blog Lights In The Dark, Discovery News, and, of course, here on Universe Today. Ad astra!

Chuck T March 9, 2012 at 3:08 AM

Good job Dad,, good job.

Michael Bryant March 9, 2012 at 1:39 PM

Thats incredible, Great shot

Mike W March 12, 2012 at 4:30 AM

I can’t believe that I used to look directly at sunspots on the setting sun back when I was a kid living in Glasgow, Scotland. I even used a pair of binoculars on occasion. The sun was very red, being right on the horizon, and I guess at such a northern latitude (level with Labrador, Canada) it was shining through enough atmosphere that it acted as a natural filter and I didn’t suffer any eye damage, but in retrospect, it was a silly thing to do!

Seeing the sunspots was very cool — but don’t do this at home, kids!

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