New Solar Cycle Sunspot (September 26, 2008)
Hi-res TIF image (1.9M)
SOHO observed an active region (seen here on Sept. 23, 2008) with the first new cycle sunspot since May 10, 2008. After weeks of a spotless Sun and very few sunspots this entire year, a small new sunspot emerged briefly, but then the visible spot broke up in a day or so. (see the MDI image below).
It had both the magnetic orientation and the position at a high latitude of a sunspot belonging to the new solar cycle, Cycle 24. Will this be the harbinger of more solar changes to come and mark the beginnings of a rise in solar activity in the near future? For that answer, only time will tell. If the pattern from the record of the past 400 years holds, we can expect that solar activity will begin to show an increase in the next few months. This image was taken by the EIT 304 instrument at 304 Angstroms in extreme UV light, in which active regions appear as brighter areas.
Hi-res TIF image (1.0M)
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.
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