Big sunspot 1195 harbors energy for M-class solar flares

big-sunspot-1195-harbors-energy-for-m-class-solar-flares

This detailed image of sunspot 1195 looks like it was taken by one of NASA’s most advanced space telescopes. In fact, it comes from someone’s backyard in the Netherlands. Scroll down for the full story, and carefully examine the starscape as you go:

Photographer Emil Kraaikamp explains: “I took the picture on April 23rd using a 10-inch telescope with a white-light solar filter. The sunspot is so large, I could see plenty of details.” Indeed, the primary dark core (at the top) is more than two times wider than Earth. With such dimensions, the sunspot group may be clearly resolved even from humble backyards.

All around the sunspot, the stellar surface is literally boiling. The blobs shown so clearly in Kraaikamp’s picture are solar granules, akin to rising blobs of water in a pot on a hot stove. These blobs, however, are made of plasma and they are about the size of Texas.

There is one thing not visible in the photo: the sunspot’s magnetic field. Space-based magnetographs reveal a ‘beta-gamma’ configuration that harbors energy forM-class solar flares. Earth-directed eruptions are possible before the weekend is over. Stay tuned. (SpaceWeather)

 

SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts

Updated at: 2011 Apr 23 2200 UTC

FLARE

0-24 hr

24-48 hr
CLASS M
30 %
30 %
CLASS X
05 %
05 %

Solar activity was very low on Saturday as Sunspot 1195 lost size and magnetic structure. There will remain a decreasing chance for an M-Class flare around this region. Elsewhere, Sunspot 1193 is rotating towards the western limb and is also quiet.

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