Active Region 1890 is Bigger Than Jupiter
One of the biggest sunspots of the current solar cycle, named AR1890, emerged over the sun's eastern limb on Nov. 2, 2013. It is the side-ways 'J' shaped sunspot group near the center in this image. Since it's arrival it has released two X-class flares, and X3.3 on Nov. 5 and an X1.1 on Nov. 7, and numerous mid-level flares. To date this Jupiter-sized sunspot has shown a tendency to produce very brief flares. Short duration flares typically produce little Earth-effects.
As of Nov. 8, 2013, active region 1890 has turned almost directly toward Earth and, according to NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center, possesses the capability to generate more solar activity as it continues its trek across the sun.
This solar image was taken by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory's Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager, or HMI, instrument, designed to study oscillations and the magnetic field at the solar surface, or photosphere.
Increased numbers of flares are quite common at the moment as the sun's normal 11-year activity cycle is ramping up toward solar maximum conditions. Credit: NASA/SDO/HMI
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Page Last Updated: November 8th, 2013
Page Editor: Holly Zell