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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Enormous Ring Is Developing On The Sun

What is this strange ring that has been developing on the Sun during 16-Oct?


Sunspot 1112, located in the southeast quadrant, has been the source of a giant filament that is currently stretching 400,000 km across the surface of the Sun.
However, today, there appears to be development of a enormous circular ring which looks to be linking with the huge magnetic filament of sunspot 1112. Most of today's various wavelength images of the Sun all show this feature over at the SDO (Solar Dynamics Observatory) - NASA website. today reports,
A vast filament of magnetism is cutting across the Sun's southern hemisphere today. A bright 'hot spot' just north of the filament's midpoint is UV radiation from sunspot 1112. The proximity is no coincidence; the filament appears to be rooted in the sunspot below. If sunspot flares, it could cause the entire structure to erupt. This active region merits watching...
What concerns me is that if indeed this is a huge magnetic filament nearly encircling the entire Sun, it is now currently directly facing the Earth. If sunspot 1112 does erupt, could the entire filament explode into a massive CME?
This particular phenomenon will be all over in a few days as it rotates around the Sun, but it serves to remind us that there are more and more events happening on the Sun as we transit into the next solar cycle maximum (peaking ~ 2012 into 2013).
CME is short for coronal mass ejection, a plasma made up of mostly electrons and protons. Basically, it is electromagnetic radiation that is ejected from active regions of the sun.
CMEs directed at Earth can interfere with radio communications, harm satellites, and even damage electrical power transmission circuits and infrastructure, potentially causing widespread power grid failure (only an extremely powerful CME could bring down the grid)
18-Oct-2010, A total of five "B" and "C" -class solar flares ignited today from sunspot region 1112, a high number but fairly small in intensity, not enough to ignite the filament.
Image of sunspot region 1112 during 18-Oct-2010 as it continues to rotate towards the south east rim of the sun.
19-Oct-2010, Partial Filament Eruption! (Not Earth directed...)
There have been 5 updates since the initial report. Link HERE to the original article and updates.

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