12:10 PM | Could huge sunspot have a second chance at the Earth?


About three weeks ago, we focused in on a humongous sunspot (officially called AR1429) as it rotated around the near side of the sun. This particular sunspot and, in fact, all sunspots provide us with quite a few clues about the rotation of the sun. For example, the sun actually rotates differentially with a faster rotation around the equator compared to the poles (similar to Jupiter and Saturn). The movements of the sunspots indicate that the Sun rotates once every 27 days at the equator, but only once in 31 days at the poles. AR1429 generated numerous coronal mass ejections (CMEs) for several days as it rotated around the sun while facing the Earth, but it then eventually disappeared onto the far side of the sun. NASA, however, has information that suggests this huge sunspot, some four times the size of the Earth, is still quite active and still producing CMEs, and it could very well re-emerge on the near side of the sun within a week or so. If it indeed remains active, it could actually have a second chance at blasting CME’s towards the Earth over the next few weeks. Stay tuned.