Sunspot Activity Hasn’t Stopped Yet

Article written: 18 Feb , 2011
Updated: 24 Dec , 2015


According to SpaceWeather: “Fast-growing active region 1161 erupted this morning, producing an M6.6-class solar flare at 1011 UT. The almost-X category blast was one of the strongest flares in years and continued the week-long trend of high solar activity.” Just how awesome is that? Then take a look at these white light solar images done by John Chumack…

While today’s activity isn’t supposed to impact Earth in a negative manner, who knows what it might produce in the days ahead? Just ask NOAA!

“A G1 (minor) geomagnetic storm continues. What might have been three hits of shocks/CMEs seems to have merged to be just one interplanetary shock/CME structure. Look for about another day’s worth of geomagnetic activity, pending additional treats in the solar wind. Elsewhere Region 1158 had another R2 (moderate) radio blackout, and fast-growing new Region 1162 likely generated an R1 (minor) event.”

Sunspot 1158 on 02-17-11 by John Chumack

With 1158 nearing the limb and wonderfully active, now is the time for solar observers to try and catch the “Wilson Effect” – an effect in which the penumbra of a sunspot appears narrower in the direction toward the Sun’s center.

While you’re at it, it doesn’t hurt to keep watch for auroral activity tonight and in the days ahead – despite the lunar interference. With satellite communications impacted in my area, I’m anxious to see what the nights – and days – bring!

Many thanks to John Chumack of Galactic Images for sharing!

10 Responses

  1. marlon says

    what do you mean when you say awesome?

    • Olaf says

      Solar flares are cool, since they create this beautiful Northern lights if you are lucky to be able to see them.

  2. postman1 says

    I wish I could see those Aurora. We sometimes (rarely) can see them here in the NC mtns, but the moon is spoiling any chance this time. An interesting site to keep up on solar activity:
    Now to head outside and watch some more. Sigh…

  3. SteveZodiac says

    I saw my first aurora in 2005 when flying to Finland from the UK. The plane wasn’t full and the cabin crew turned down the lights. At 23,000 feet you could see a great arc of green glow across the sky, there were tears in my eyes and I wasn’t alone.

  4. Olaf says

    I only saw it once when I was in Canda. I really loved it.

  5. Member
    Aqua says has a link to information about building a Sudden Ionospheric Disturbance monitor! I like… a fun project for an astronomy club!

  6. astronary says

    And what of ISS personnel’s exposure to these blasts of awesomeness? Not in harm’s way?

  7. Olaf says

    They are under the radiation belt. ISS is pretty safe.
    Being on the moon would not be a good place to be right now.

  8. 42 says

    An aurora borealis image from Northern Norway.I had a great time watching a spectacular show.

    you can see the Pleiades also called Seven Sisters or m45.A bit down to the left,the red star Aldebaran in taurus is also visible..The space probe Pioner 10 which went by Jupiter in 1973,is heading towards Aldebaran.ETA,2million years..

  9. 42 says

    copy and paste it looks like..

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