Sunspots on March 6, 2011

An amateur astronomer, Paul Crossland in the U.K., took these images of spots on the sun on March 6, 2011.

Paul Crossland took these two images of two different groups of sunspots on today’s sun, at around 3 p.m. today, from the U.K. The image below shows sunspot 1166.

To get these images, Paul was using a Meade ETX 125 telescope, fitted with a solar filter, 26mm eyepiece and a Fujifilm compact 8.3mp held to the eyepiece. Here’s another sunspot group on the sun today, labeled 1164 by solar astronomers.

The sun has been active in recent weeks. Activity on the sun caused a solar wind stream to strike Earth’s magnetic field during the early hours of March 1. The impact sparked a geomagnetic storm, which created beautiful displays of the northern lights last week, for those at northerly latitudes.

Or if you have a telescope equipped with a solar filter, as Paul Crossland does, you might have seen some major sunspots come and go recently.

Thank you Paul!