Monster spots on the sun…

To enrich today’s Father’s Day with something meaningful, I continued the solar observation I started yesterday this morning with an almost open and clear sky. Looking at the two sunspots AR 3663 and a monster spot AR 3664, which I have never seen before, I can see that this must be something special.

Sunspots are dark areas on the visible surface of the sun (photosphere) that are cooler and therefore emit less visible light than the rest of the surface. Their number and size form the simplest measure of so-called solar activity. Further research quickly reveals that I have caught the two most active sunspots of the current solar cycle. Plasma is ejected from them into space, which could hit the Earth as a solar storm in the next few days.

A solar storm warning is currently in place for 10 to 12 May 2024, with experts fearing class G3 geomagnetic storms. The size of the spot is enormous and exceeds the size of the Carrington event in 1859. This event caused the largest scientifically observed magnetic storm on Earth to date. Experts expect the solar storms to cause auroras up to mid-latitudes and thus also in Germany.

The image shows a large and complex group with numerous sunspots. This is known as a sunspot group or active region.

Camera Zwo Asi 2600 MC pro

Lacerta Newtonian 10 inch/ F5

Skywatcher EQ 8 mount

Sum image from video 1500 images


Images and text: Ralf Schmidt

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