This is the news maker of the week, the sunspot group known as Region #1429.
It hit the headlines this past week as it let loose several intense solar flares, triggering geomagnetic storms around Earth and some aurora displays. Even as I took this shot of the Sun on Saturday afternoon, through a normal white light filter, Region #1429 was unleashing another intense flare, visible in red H-alpha light as a brilliant bright spot embedded in the dark sunspot. We can expect some more solar storms heading our way, and perhaps displays of northern lights.
The Sun is picking up in activity and there will be lots more of these headline events over the next few years, as the news media latch onto to any story that promises to wreak mayhem and chaos here on Earth. In reality, these events won’t have much effect on us in everyday life except to create beautiful auroras we can admire.
— Alan, March 10, 2012 / © 2012 Alan Dyer