Huge Sunspot Group Now Observable

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    Anonymous

    A large, complex sunspot group designated Active Region 1944 has rotated onto the Earth-facing side of the solar disk.
    Sun_HMI_1915UT_4Jan2014.jpg
    All of 2013, supposedly the peak in Cycle 24, left solar observers feeling cheated: few sunspots, even fewer auroras, and no real solar storms to speak of.  But 2014 has got off to a fast start. A strong (M9) solar flare erupted on New Year's Day, though its energetic punch wasn't directed toward Earth.

    binocular_projection.gif
    In the meantime, it's an excellent grouping to view through a telescope equipped with a safe solar filter. If you don't have the right filter, set up binoculars on a tripod, uncover one side, and point toward Sun. Don't look through the binoculars, but instead project the Sun's image onto a white card placed behind the eyepiece.

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