Another fantastic image by Alan Friedman, this shows the massive sunspot region AR 1339 as it appeared on November 5, 2011 while in the process of rotating into view – and aim! – of Earth.
Estimated at about 17 times the width of Earth, AR 1339 contains some gigantic sunspots capable of producing high-powered solar flares. Already it has released a solar flare reaching X1.9 at 20:27 UTC on Nov. 3.
Should it keep up this level of activity we may be seeing more extreme aurorae in the coming week or two as was witnessed in October!
Image © Alan Friedman. All rights reserved.