INCOMING ACTIVE REGIONS: Solar activity has been low for more than a week. This could change in the days ahead as a pair of active regions rotates onto the Earthside of the sun. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the signs of their approach during the early hours of Sept. 18th:
Pictured above are the magnetic canopies of sunspots. Plasma-filled magnetic loops towering more than 50,000 km above the sun’s eastern limb herald the approach of the active regions, possibly turning a pair of flare centers toward Earth as the week unfolds. Amateur astronomers witth backyard solar telescopes should train their optics on the eastern limb; solar activity is in the offing.