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New Sunspot AR1271 Emerges

August 17, 2011

spaceweather

A big new sunspot is emerging over the sun’s northeastern limb. AR1271 has at least four dark cores and it is crackling with small flares. The sunspot’s entrance was captured in this 24-hour movie from the Solar Dynamics Observatory:

NOAA forecasters estimate a 60% chance of M-class solar flares during the next 24 hours. Because of its location near the sun’s limb, AR1271 does not yet pose a threat for Earth-directed eruptions. This could change in the days ahead, however, as the sunspot turns to face our planet. Readers with solar telescopes are encouraged to monitor developments.

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