Categories: Solar Astronomysun

Activity Heating Up on the Sun!


The summer Sun (for us in the northern hemisphere) is getting active! Here are images and videos of recent activity, which include sunspots and an M-class flare. Above is a close-up look at four active regions taken by César Cantú from the Chilidog Observatory in Monterrey, Mexico.

Below, see a strong but brief M9-class solar flare which occurred on July 31, 2011 from Active Region 1261, captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory. Scientists from SDO say that because it was brief it appears not to have hurled a large coronal mass ejection (CME) outwards.

The Sun in four different wavelengths. Credit: César Cantú from the Chilidog Observatory. Click for larger version.

Here’s a comparative look at the sunspots from August 1, 2011, taken by César Cantú from the Chilidog Observatory in Mexico. “Taking advantage of the program that I could attach Lucam Recorder in AVI (video) different bands of light, here is this comparative look in negative, white light, the calcium band and hydrogen-alpha band,” said Cantú. He used a 90 Coronado telescope and camera with dual ektalon DMK41.

See more at the Chilidog Observatory website, Astronomía Y Astrofotografía.

Here’s a video clip from SDO showing an interesting alignment of three good-sized sunspot groups that appear to be marching across the Sun, taken July 28-29, 2011.

See more, and keep up with all the activity on the Sun at the SDO website.

Nancy Atkinson

Nancy has been with Universe Today since 2004, and has published over 6,000 articles on space exploration, astronomy, science and technology. She is the author of two books: "Eight Years to the Moon: the History of the Apollo Missions," (2019) which shares the stories of 60 engineers and scientists who worked behind the scenes to make landing on the Moon possible; and "Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos" (2016) tells the stories of those who work on NASA's robotic missions to explore the Solar System and beyond. Follow Nancy on Twitter at and and Instagram at and

Recent Posts

Chinese Astronauts May Build a Base Inside a Lunar Lava Tube

Caves were some of humanity's first shelters. Who knows what our distant ancestors were thinking…

19 hours ago

Finally! Astronomers are Starting to See the First Galaxies Coming Together With JWST

One of the James Webb Space Telescope’s principal science goals is to observe the epoch…

2 days ago

Gaia is Now Finding Planets. Could it Find Another Earth?

The ESA launched Gaia in 2013 with one overarching goal: to map more than one…

2 days ago

Why Build Megastructures? Just Move Planets Around to Make Habitable Worlds

A new study recommends we stop looking for megastructures and start searching for advanced civilizations…

2 days ago

The Darkest Parts of the Moon are Revealed with NASA’s New Camera

While the surface of the Moon has been mapped in incredible detail over the last…

2 days ago

Did the Moon’s Water Come from Earth?

A recent study published in Nature Astronomy examines how processes within the Earth’s magnetic field…

3 days ago