Sunspot AR1476 may have some surprises for us in the coming days, and I hope it isn’t a Carrington type event. It has already launched two CME’s yesterday.
From NASA’s Spaceweather.com: A pair of solar eruptions on May 7th hurled coronal masss ejections (CMEs) toward Earth. Forecast tracks prepared by analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab suggests that clouds with arrive in succession on May 9th at 13:40 UT and May 10th at 07:54 UT (+/- 7 hours). The double impact could spark moderate geomagnetic storms. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras.
With a least four dark cores larger than Earth, AR1476 sprawls more than 100,000 km from end to end, and makes an easy target for backyard solar telescopes. Amateur astronomer Alan Friedman sends this picture of the behemoth from his backyard in Buffalo, NY:
“AR1476 is firecrackler,” says Friedman.
Indeed, the active region is crackling with impulsive M-class solar flares. Based on the sunspot’s complex ‘beta-gamma’ magnetic field, NOAA forecasters estimate a 75% chance of more M-flares during the next 24 hours. There is also a 10% chance of powerful X-flares.
“This one is going to be fun as it turns to face us!” predicts Friedman. He might be right.
Here’s the current SDO image:
And a close up of AR1476:
Keep up with the latest at the WUWT Solar Reference Page