GEOMAGNETIC STORM WATCH: Minor G1-class geomagnetic storms are possible on July 13th when a CME is expected to pass close to Earth. NASA and NOAA models of the CME give different results. NASA predicts a glancing blow, NOAA a clean miss. Either way, a close encounter could disturb Earth’s magnetic field and produce high latitude auroras. Aurora alerts: SMS Text
IS THIS GIANT SUNSPOT CRACKING UP? Sunspot AR3363 is so big, the Perseverance rover saw it from Mars. Now it might be cracking up. Peter Aniol saw a fissure forming yesterday when he photographed the sunspot from Montlaux, France:
The bright, linear gap dividing the sunspot is known as a “light bridge.” It measures 10,000 km from end to end.
The nature of light bridges is not fully understood. They often herald the break-up of a sunspot, with jets of plasma shooting up from the chasm as the sunspot decays. Some research suggests that magnetic fields at the base of a light bridge are busy cross-crossing and reconnecting–the same explosive process that sparks solar flares.
So which is it? Will the sunspot explode or quietly fall apart? No one can say. Readers with solar telescopes are encouraged to monitor the crack up.