Saturday, November 5, 2011

Sunspot region 11339

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Currently, there is a massive sunspot region in the northern hemisphere of the Sun that has rotated into view over the past several days.  Numbered region 11339 is large, complex, and already responsible for a X class solar flare.  We are between weather fronts here in Tucson, and today the atmospheric stability was as bad as I have seen it in some time.  I observed the Sun in white light using very low magnification (approximately 55X) to make the sketch at left.  During the time of my sketch there were only fractions of a second every now and then where the seeing stabilized at all.  I suspect there are many more small spots and pores in regions 11339 and 11338 than I was able to capture.  As it was, this sketch took me about 40 minutes to complete, as I patiently waited to spot spots.  I completed the drawing at 2020 UT (1:20 MST).

For comparison, below is the Mount Wilson Solar Observatory Daily Sunspot Drawing:

Click to enlarge

This is a video I created using the freeware program JHelioviewer that shows the rotation of this spot group from about 2000 UT on 11/2 through 2000 UT today.  The data is from the Solar Dynamics Observatory Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA):

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