Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
by Staff Writers
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Mar 06, 2014
Scientists track sunspots that are part of active regions, which often produce large explosions on the sun such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections, or CMEs. Each time an active region appears it is assigned a number.
Active regions that have survived their trip around the back of the sun and reappear are assigned a new number - a convention left over from when we had no telescopes observing the far side of the sun and so could not be sure that the new sunspot was indeed the same as the old one.
This active region is currently labeled AR11990. Last time around it was labeled AR11967and its first time it was AR11944.
During its three trips thus far, this region has produced two significant solar flares, labeled as the strongest kind of flare, an X-class.
It has also produced numerous mid-level and smaller flares. While many sunspots do not last more than a couple of weeks, there have been sunspots known to be stable for many months at a time.
Studying what causes active regions to appear and disappear over time, as well as how long they remain stable, is key to understanding the origins of space weather that can impact Earth's technological infrastructure.
Solar Dynamics Observatory
Solar Science News at SpaceDaily
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.|