ANOTHER BIG SUNSPOT: As one big sunspot (AR1515) turns away from Earth, another one is turning toward our planet. AR1520, now emerging over the sun’s southeastern limb, stretches more than 127,000 km (10 Earth diameters) from end to end:
AR1520 has a ‘beta-gamma’ magnetic field that harbors energy for M-class solar flares. So far, however, the sunspot’s magnetic canopy is crackling with lesser C-flares. The calm before the storm? NOAA forecasters estimate an 80% chance of M-flares during the next 24 hours.