Return of the Sun Spots

A few months ago I decided to make a solar filter for my telescope using an A4 sheet of solar film and cardboard. This gave me a very nice solar filter for around $25 with enough solar sheet remaining for me to make at least another 8 filters down the track.

It was obvious that when I was looking at the Sun through the filter that the Sun was indeed going through a solar minimum and that an entire month could go by before one small little sun spot appeared. This was the story in 2008 where we had minimal numbers of sunspots and 2009 was looking to be much worse for spot activity. I had heard that it was likely that sun spot activity might increase in the early part of 2010, but no one was sure exactly what was going on with the Sun.

(Click to Enlarge)

Anyhow, I paid attention to a sunspot known as Sunspot 1029 which was first seen forming on 23rd October 2009. This sunspot was developing quickly and by October 25 it was sending off solar flares. It soon became the most active sunspot of 2009 before it disappeared from Earth’s view around the limb of the Sun on November 1.

On Novermber 14, sunspot 1029 became visible again after travelling all the way around the back end of the sun before re-emerging again 2 weeks after it was last seen by Earth. This caught my attention as the sunspots generally did not last that long so something was different.

Since then , we seem to have had a growing number of sunspots appearing and this seems to indicate we may well have ended a 2 year solar minimum. It is probably too early to state that but after seeing all this activity it is looking like the sunspot activity will be increasing over the next few months which will make viewing of the Sun once more an interesting subject.

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~ by sydneystargazers on December 29, 2009.

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