ADVANCING SUNSPOTS: A phalanx of sunspots is turning toward Earth. Their advance is documented in this two-day movie from the Solar Dynamics Observatory:
The large one in the middle, AR1401, has a “beta-gamma” magnetic field that harbors energy for M-class solar flares. At the moment it is unleashing one such flare every day, such as this flash recorded during the late hours of Jan. 19th. Eruptions from AR1401 will become increasingly geoeffective in the days ahead as the sun’s rotation aligns the active region with our planet.