top of page


New sunspot AR2936 has rapidly grown into one of the largest active regions of young Solar Cycle 25, quadrupling in size in only 48 hours. This 2-day movie from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory shows the sunspot's rapid development:

As the sunspot turns toward Earth, the chance of an Earth-directed flare is increasing. NOAA forecasters say there is a 20% chance of M-class flares today and a 5% chance of powerful X-flares--odds that could increase further as the weekend unfolds.

The scale of this sunspot makes it an easy target for backyard solar telescopes. AR2936 has multiple dark cores larger than Earth, and the entire group stretches more than 100,000 km across the surface of the sun. This is an ideal sunspot for projection techniques.

Yesterday in Cannes, France, amateur astronomer Francois Rouviere caught the sunspot in mid-flare:

"To take the picture I used an AiryLab Celestron 8 solar telescope with a DayStar Ion 0.3A H-alpha filter," says Rouviere. "There was a lot of activity surging up and down the sunspot's magnetic field lines."

The sunspot is currently producing a C-class flare every 4 or 5 hours. Amateur astronomers who point safely-filtered optics at this active region have a good chance of catching one, just like Rouviere did. Solar flare alerts: SMS Text.


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page