There’s no guessing about these. They aren’t anemic sunspecks that may or may not have been visible a couple of centuries ago. They are the real deal. Sunspot group 1026 on the lower left edge and newly formed group 1027 above the equator. While a couple of spots aren’t yet enough to end the solar drought we’ve seen, they are encouraging.
All of the spots are about the size of the Earth. You may recall that group 1026 was first, ahem, “spotted” by the stereo behind system which we covered last week on WUWT. The two groups have the potential to produce some solar flares. Group 1026 produced a few B-Class solar flares, 1027 has been quiet. Here’s the SWPC report defining both regions:
:Product: Solar Region Summary :Issued: 2009 Sep 23 0031 UTC # Prepared jointly by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, # Space Weather Prediction Center and the U.S. Air Force. # Joint USAF/NOAA Solar Region Summary SRS Number 266 Issued at 0030Z on 23 Sep 2009 Report compiled from data received at SWO on 22 Sep I. Regions with Sunspots. Locations Valid at 22/2400Z Nmbr Location Lo Area Z LL NN Mag Type 1026 S30E54 217 0030 Cso 09 02 Beta 1027 N24E32 239 0040 Dro 05 04 Beta IA. H-alpha Plages without Spots. Locations Valid at 22/2400Z Sep Nmbr Location Lo None II. Regions Due to Return 23 Sep to 25 Sep Nmbr Lat Lo None Source: http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpdir/latest/SRS.txt
The 10.7 cm solar radio flux took a jump to 75 today, it may go higher as 1026/1027 continues to grow. It remains to be seen whether this is just a temporary energetic burst, with a lapse back to spotlessness, or if it heralds a new more active period of solar cycle 24.