One of the biggest sunspots in years has just rotated over the sun’s northeastern limb. AR3112 has a mixed-polarity magnetic field that harbors energy for strong X-class solar flares. The appearance of this dangerous sunspot could herald two weeks of high solar activity as it transits the Earth-facing side of the sun.
Earth-orbiting satellites have just detected an X1-class solar flare (Oct. 2nd @ 2025 UT). Ironically, it did not come from big dangerous sunspot AR3112, described below, but rather from AR3110, a smaller and apparently less threatening active region. The flare (image) produced a shortwave radio blackout over the Pacific Ocean and parts of North America (blackout map), and it may have hurled a CME into space. Stay tuned for updates. Solar flare alerts: SMS Text
A BIG DANGEROUS SUNSPOT:
One of the biggest sunspots in years has just rotated over the sun’s northeastern limb. Introducing, AR3112:
AR3112 has more than a dozen dark cores scattered across 130,000 km of solar terrain, making it an easy target for backyard solar telescopes. Don’t have a solar filter? Use the projection method, instead.
The image above is a magnetic map of the sun’s surface with a white light photo of AR3112 inset. It shows what makes this sunspot group so dangerous. Positive and negative magnetic polarities are bumping together–an explosive mixture that could produce an X-class solar flare.The emergence of AR3112 already fully formed and unstable could herald two weeks of high solar activity as the sunspot group transits the solar disk, facing Earth the whole time.
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via Watts Up With That?