The Sun Burps

To us, viewed with the naked eye, the Sun is unchanging. Sure, it’s higher or lower in the sky or obscured by clouds, smoke or haze. But, the Sun’s the Sun.

Once you start looking at the Sun more closely, and using instruments that can see beyond the glare of its overwhelming brightness, you see that the Sun rotates on its access. It’s surface is not homogeneous, but often contains disturbances or storms. This solar activity goes through 11 year cycles.

Though we’re past a maximum in the solar cycle, the surface of the Sun currently hosts an immense ‘sunspot.’ Sky and Telescope characterized it this way:

One thought on “The Sun Burps”

  1. I was able to see two great Auroras in this area. Once I was driving North on 91 in the Northampton area, and the entire highway stopped to look at the lightshow. It was amazing. That was about 1988 or 1989.

    I witnessed another one at the Colebrook reservoir in 1999. At first there was a slight, white glow in the distance to the North. I had figured it was light pollution from a nearby baseball field or something.

    Then the white glow became a sheet of dancing colors. I was in awe. That lasted of about 45 minutes, and then vanished as quickly as it came.

    Some have told me that it is rare to witness two great light shows this far south in a lifetime.

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