After months of malaise and anemic sunspecks, the sun finally creates a respectable spot.While lower towards the equator than expected, it has been identified as a cycle 24 spot.
From SpaceWeather.com: The sun is showing signs of life. Over the weekend, sunspot 1029 emerged and it is crackling with B- and C-class solar flares. Amateur astronomer Gianluca Valentini of Rimini, Italy, took this picture just hours ago:
“Incredible size and structure for this sunspot after such a long time of mini-events–maybe the sun really means business this time!” says Valentini.
In Ocean Beach, California, Michael Buxton made a movie of the active region: play it. “My girlfriend and I watched the magnetic fibrils around the sunspot as they surged and swirled,” he says. “It was a wonderful area of activity.”
The sunspot’s magnetic polarity identifies it as a member of new Solar Cycle 24. If it continues to grow at this rate, sunspot 1029 could soon become the biggest sunspot of 2009. Readers with solar telescopes are encouraged to monitor developments.
Here’s some solar indices from SWPC
According to solarcycle24.com here are the “records” for cycle24 so far:
SOLAR FLUX – 76 (9/23/2009 – bested today with 81, SWPC confirms)
SUNSPOT # – 32 (9/24/2009)
FLARE – C2.7 (7/5/2009)
DAYS IN A ROW WITH A SUNSPOT – 11 (10/1/2009)