Thursday, March 19, 2015

Sunspot at Sunset

Sunspot at Sunset: APOD: 2014 January 8 - Sunspot at Sunset


Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2014 January 8


See Explanation. Clicking on the picture will download the highest resolution version available.
Explanation: Sunsets may be the most watched celestial event, but lately sunsets have even offered something extra. A sunspot so large it was visible to the naked eye is captured in Swiss skies in this sunset scene from January 5, crossing left to right near the center of a solar disk dimmed and distorted by Earth's dense atmosphere. Detailed views reveal a large solar active region composed of sunspots, some larger than planet Earth itself. Cataloged as active region AR 1944, on January 7 it produced a substantial solar flare and a coronal mass ejection (CME) forecast to reach Earth. The CME could trigger geomagnetic storms and aurora on January 9.