The eyes have it! (October 17, 2008)
As Halloween approaches, so do a new active region and one official sunspot that bear an eerie resemblance to two glowing eyes on a carved pumpkin. These were observed by the STEREO (Behind) spacecraft in the 284 wavelength of extreme UV light. We have not seen two active regions for a long time. The magnetic orientation of the sunspot and positions of both make them appear to belong to the new solar cycle. Notice in the video how the right "eye" emerges as the sun's rotation brings the "left" eye around. STEREO (Behind) can spot these regions before SOHO (with its position near the Sun-Earth line of sight) because it is trailing Earth and able to see more of the Sun before we and SOHO do.
And if you are so inclined, take a look at our "pumpkin" version of this image below (October 12, 2008).
SOHO began its Weekly Pick some time after sending a weekly image or video clip to the American Museum of Natural History (Rose Center) in New York City. There, the SOHO Weekly Pick is displayed with some annotations on a large plasma display.
If your institution would also like to receive the same Weekly Pick from us for display (usually in Photoshop or QuickTime format), please send your inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.