WHO’S AFRAID OF AN OLD SUNSPOT? Sunspot AR1429, the source of many strong flares and geomagnetic storms earlier this month, has returned, but it’s no longer the behemoth it once was. After a two week transit around the backside of the sun, AR1429 has substantially decayed. All that’s left is a few small dark cores scattered among some bright magnetic froth:
Even the corpse of AR1429 might still be potent, however. Just yesterday it produced a flurry of five C-class flares and sent waves of ionization rippling through the high atmosphere over Europe. Furthermore, NOAA forecasters estimate a 35% chance of M-class flares during the next 24 hours.
Some activity from this diminished active region is certainly possible, but it is unlikely to be anything like the strong storms of early March. Stay tuned for updates