Now There's One (November 18, 2005)
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The Sun had a rather blank look on its face for days and days over the past several weeks or so, just quietly rotating without much to offer in the way of interesting phenomena like solar prominences, sunspots, or storms. Then, a single, lone, and rather large active region rotated into view on 12 November 2005. In visible light it appears as a black spot, but in extreme ultraviolet light as seen above, it appears white, indicating intensity of magnetic activity. It extends nearly 140,000 km, about the diameter of Jupiter. In fact, the active region has been spouting off a series of moderate (M-class) flares. As solar rotation continues to bring it towards the center of the Sun over the next few days, it could provide the spark for some Earth-directed "space weather." Stay tuned.
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