STRONG SOLAR ACTIVITY September 22nd 2011 onwards

STRONG SOLAR ACTIVITY: Having already unleashed two X-flares since Sept. 22nd, sunspot AR1302 appears ready for more. The active region has a complex “beta-gamma-delta” magnetic field that harbors energy for strong M- and X-class eruptions. Flares from AR1302 will become increasingly geoeffective as the sunspot turns toward Earth in the days ahead.

On Sunday, Sept. 25th, Dutch astrophotographer Emil Kraaikamp took a magnificent picture of the active region, which is so big only half of it fits on the screen. Click to view the entire sunspot:

“This is how the sunspot looked through my solar-filtered 10-inch Newtonian telescope,” says Kraaikamp. “Due to the always-variable daytime seeing here in the Netherlands, it took a couple of hours to finally capture one good set of images, but it was well worth the effort to get this view of the huge sunspot formation.”

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