• Observations

Monty sees a disappearing spot

Large sunspot in region 923 about to rotate round the Western limb_Monty Leventhal

Large sunspot in region 923 about to rotate round the western limb. Photographed by Monty Leventhal

Expert solar observer and member of the Sydney City Skywatchers Monty Leventhal photographed a large sunspot just before it rotated out of view behind the western edge of the Sun. This spot had appeared on the eastern edge on 8 November 2006.

Only one tiny spot is left on the visible disc of the Sun, but scientists have indications that a new large spot has just appeared on the farside near the eastern edge of the disc. This may have been responsible for a spectacular ejection of gases called a “coronal mass ejection” from the Sun imaged yesterday by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO spacecraft). The bright moving point of light above and to the left of the Sun is the planet Jupiter.

Coronal Mass Ejection on 20 November 2006 (Universal Time)_SOHO

Coronal Mass Ejection on 20 November 2006 (Universal Time). Courtesy SOHO

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