New Sunspot

RING-SHAPED SUNSPOT: New sunspot AR1413 is emerging in the shape of a ring. This two-day movie from the Solar Dynamics Observatory shows the sunspot’s geometric development:

Does the magnetic architecture of this unusual spot harbor energy for strong flares? Magnetograms appear to show some mixing of polarities between the left and right halves of the ring, which could lead to explosive instabilities. So far, however, solar activity remains low.