11:30 AM | New sunspot regions appear to be quite active


The sun has become more active in recent days as Solar Cycle 24 continues to progress and there are now two new sunspot regions rotating into view that are of interest. Ultraviolet imagery from the “Extreme UV Imaging Telescope” (EIT) has shown these new sunspot regions to be quite active. There was, in fact, a coronal mass ejection (CME) earlier this week from a now departing sunspot region and it resulted in northern lights to be seen across portions of the northern tier of states (the Mid-Atlantic region was cloudy throughout this time period). These two new sunspot regions will need to be monitored over the next several days as they are rotating into a location that will be facing the Earth in a more direct fashion; therefore, they could have an effect on the Earth’s upper atmosphere if new coronal mass ejections were to occur. Solar Cycle 24 continues towards what is expected to be a solar maximum sometime later next year.