Giant spot crosses Sun’s disk

Sunspot 930 photographed by Paul Sutherland
There is a very interesting bit of activity going on on the Sun at the moment. As it rotates a giant sunspot is turning to face us.

Spot number 930 is being enough to be seen with the naked eye providing a suitable solar filter is used such as undamaged eclipse glasses or welders’ goggles to see it.

If you do not have you have an approved filter, you can view it by projecting the Sun’s light through a telescope or binoculars onto a piece of card. (Warning: If you have one of today’s cheaper telescopes with plastic eyepieces, the Sun’s heat can melt the plastic.)

I took the accompanying photo using my Canon EOS 300D at prime focus of the ETX90 from my kitchen in Putney, south-west London

The spot was earlier a very explosive affair as shown here in the SPA gallery in an image by Dave Tyler. Another impressive sequence, from a H-alpha telescope in New Mexico by the National Solar Observatory, revealed a tidal wave spreading from the spot across the Sun.

Since then, the spot has calmed down and become very stable, reducing the likelihood of further flares, according to Spaceweather.com.

Paul Sutherland

Paul Sutherland

I have been a professional journalist for nearly 40 years. I write regularly for science magazines including BBC Sky at Night magazine, BBC Focus, Astronomy Now and Popular Astronomy. I have also authored three books on astronomy and contributed to others.
Paul Sutherland

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Paul Sutherland

I have been a professional journalist for nearly 40 years. I write regularly for science magazines including BBC Sky at Night magazine, BBC Focus, Astronomy Now and Popular Astronomy. I have also authored three books on astronomy and contributed to others.

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