The sun recently displayed some impressive prominences, and at the same time produced another “tiny tim” cycle 24 spot that seems to have escaped notice. Michael Ronayne helps with a blink comparator image that helps spot it.
No number has been assigned as yet but he had an interestig exchange about it with Dr. Leif Svalgaard, on the message board of solarcycle24.com. Here is what Dr. Svalgaard answered with when queried about the tiny tim spot and the random missed updates of solar MDI images from NASA:
1: the tiny spot didn’t get a region number, so doesn’t count.
2: MDI images are not unreliable. It is just the people that are lazy putting them on the Web. You may have noted that they often are not updated on weekends.
3: No backup needed. What is needed [and not available] is money to pay someone to process the data and to make them available. You must learn one thing about NASA: it is not about science, but about funneling money from taxpayers to hardware manufacturers.
Meanwhile, a crackly region near the sun’s equatorial area, a solar cycle 23 region, has been trying to form a spot:
Lately, this is the sound the sun has been making as it tries to get cycle 24 started.