The sun is becoming active again

EarthSky community members have captured the giant sunspot region – AR 2781 – currently making its way across the sun’s visible surface.

Large purple-gray ball with short, irregular line of small dark spots.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Victor C. Rogus in Sedona, Arizona, captured this photo of the sunspots as they travel across the surface of the sun on November 7, 2020. He wrote, giving some important advice for sun photography: “With mostly cloudy skies predicted within the hour I put my itsy bitsy 66mm refractor to work on the sun to photograph enormous sun spot AR 2781 as it traverses the solar disk. Sunspot AR2781 poses a threat for C-class solar flares. AR 2781 is so big people have reported seeing at sunset through thin clouds and haze with unfiltered optics! But please note, even when the sun is dimmed by low-hanging clouds or haze, it can still be dangerously bright, especially when magnified by unfiltered optics. If you choose to photograph the low sun, use the camera’s LCD screen for safe view finding. Never look at the sun through the eyepiece of an unfiltered camera. NEVER!” Thank you, Victor!

EarthSky lunar calendars are back in stock! We’re guaranteed to sell out – get one while you can. Makes a great gift!

A whole image of the sun, with an inset of black spots surrounded by dark rims.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Radu Anghel in Bacau, Romania, wrote, “Sun and the active region 2781 on November 6, 2020.” This giant sunspot region – labeled AR 2781 – has been making its way across the visible surface of the sun in recent days. The sun’s new 11-year cycle of activity (Cycle 25) has just started, after being at a low ebb in recent years. Expect sunspots to become more common in the years ahead. Read more about Cycle 25.

Round yellow globe of sun, with small set of spots and blotches nearing the left limb, in about the 8 o'clock position.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Aurelian Neacsu in Visina, Dambovita, Romania, wrote on November 6: “The sun today. Some new spots can be seen on its surface, a sign that it is increasingly active. Photo taken through solar filter telescope.” Thank you, Aurelian!

Green sun with closeup of dark spots surrounded by gray rims.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Victor C. Rogus in Sedona, Arizona, captured this close-up of AR 2781 on November 5, 2020. Thank you, Victor!

Bottom line: Photos from the EarthSky community of an active region on the sun – a giant sunspot region – known as AR 2781. It was making its way across the sun’s visible surface last week, but will soon rotate out of view, moving to the back side of the sun.

Read more: Solar Cycle 25 is here

Deborah Byrd