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Behemoth sunspots evolve

July 11, 2011


 The CME was not squarely Earth-directed and is not traveling at great speed, only minor geomagnetic storming is expected when the cloud arrives. A coronal mass ejection (CME) that billowed away from sunspot 1247 on July 9th could hit Earth’s magnetic field on July 12th.

The SDO team has just prepared a beautiful movie of the explosion that produced the CME.

Sunspot group 1247 is expanding rapidly and in an interesting way. The active region is organizing itself as a linear chain of sunspots, denoted by the rectangle in this July 10th image from the Solar Dynamics Observatory:

From end to end, the chain stretches more than 200,000 km, which makes it an easy target for backyard solar telescopes. Some observers prefer H-alpha telescopes tuned to the red glow of solar hydrogen, but for watching behemoth sunspots evolve, nothing beats a white light observing system. Monitoring is encouraged. (SpaceWeather)

Credit: Cai Uso Wohler
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