Sunspot activity intensifies on the solar surface


March 5, 2011 BIG SUNSPOTS: Sunspots 1164 and 1166 are so large, people are noticing them at sunrise and sunset when the sun is dimmed by clouds and haze. The dark cores of these regions are many times wider than Earth, so they are conspicuous even from a distance of 93 million miles. Readers who monitor the spots using properly-filtered backyard telescopes are likely to see flares in action; sunspot 1164 in particular has a delta-class magnetic field that harbors energy for X-class eruptions.
 AURORA WATCH: A coronal mass ejection (CME) is en route to Earth, due to arrive on March 6th. The CME is slow-moving and not especially massive. Nevertheless, its arrival could provoke geomagnetic storms around the Arctic Circle. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras. –Space Weather
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