Sunspots!!!

Three new sunspots have emerged on the Sun surface and they are growing rapidly.  One of them (989) even unleashed an M2-class solar flare, which is the biggest flare of the year.  These sunspots are associated with the old Cycle 23, not the new Cycle 24, based on their magnetic polarity.

Sunspots 987,988,989

Three new sunspots on the Sun.  From right: Sunspot 987, 988, 989 (near the limb).  Credit: SOHO/MDI

Those who have been monitoring the Sun will tell you that nowadays we don’t see a lot of sunspots.  The Sun has been blank because we are just leaving a period called the Solar Minimum, the time when the Sun is least active.

So, don’t hesitate, turn your telescope (remember to attach the solar filter!) to the Sun now and enjoy… better still, if you can attach your camera to your scope (with solar filter) and take a photo of them.

WARNING: DO NOT LOOK OR POINT YOUR TELESCOPE AT THE SUN DIRECTLY WITHOUT ANY SOLAR FILTER OR SAFETY EQUIPMENT!

Extra: Image of Sunspot 987, 988, 989 by Greg Piepol through H-alpha telescope.

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~ by thChieh on March 27, 2008.

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