The Sun on Eclipse Day

A few days ago I looked at the solar imagery from the spacecraft and ground observatories and feared that our Sun would be completely spotless for next week’s solar eclipse. The one sunspot visible had just rotated out of view, not to return until well after the eclipse. There were no other sunspots apparent.

SOHO Sunspots Aug 15, 2017
SOHO sunspots on Aug 15, 2017 showing the newly formed AR2671
Our Sun has served up a very nice surprise. A complex and energetic sunspot group has formed. Better yet it will be just about mid-disk when the Moon arrives.

Sunspot group AR2671 formed on the eastern limb of the Sun over the last couple days. It has even produced a few c-class solar flares to show it has some vigor.

Better yet… This sunspot group will be a boon to eclipse photographers across the US. The pattern of dark spots will make the difficult task of focusing a telescope on the Sun far easier. These spots will provide a focus target to untold telescopes.

The only question now is will the group last for five more days? Will is grow or shrink.

Author: Andrew

An electrical engineer, amateur astronomer, and diver, living and working on Mauna Kea, Hawai'i.

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