OK. Wow. I was pretty proud of my sunspot efforts until I saw this. Always good to have something to aim for, I guess.
City of (Sunspot) Lights
Sunspot AR1476 (photographed above over the Eiffel Tower) has been monitored all week, as the Jupiter-sized coronal “active region” has been pointed squarely at Earth, ready to release a wave of magnetic energy in the form of a solar flare or coronal mass ejection. Last night, a CME was detected, racing toward Earth at over 1,000 km/s.
This awesome animation from the Goddard Space Weather Lab demonstrates the forecasted wave and glancing blow we await on Earth (we aren’t in any danger, but satellites may be disrupted):
Above, the sunspot is photographed Thursday evening over the Eiffel Tower by VegaStar Carpentier.