The largest sunspot in over 24 years, AR 2192, which could be noticed on the face of the sun during the partial solar eclipse of October 23. is still puzzling scientists.
From the 19th of October to the 27th of October, the enormous sunspot was buzzing with solar activity. Astronomers captured numerous solar flares unleashed by the massive sunspot, five of which proved to be X-class flares (the strongest on the solar flare classification scale).
AR 2192 has shifted its location so that it is no longer visible from Earth. NASA researchers explain that the sunspot may now be hiding on the far side of our solar system’s star and that it may take a couple of weeks for AR 2192 to wind its way back to a position where it’s visible yet again.
Researchers tracked the region from October 17th to October 29th and released an image of the sunspot’s migration across the Sun’s front. The sunspot is approximately the size of Jupiter, making Earth seem minuscule in comparison. This time laps shows several X-Class flares stemming from the massive sunspot, visible in both normal spectrum and ultraviolet light. The images were captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory Atmospheric Imaging Assembly Instrument.
Researchers tracking the record-breaking 80,000 mile-diameter sunspot say that during the time in which it was tracked, no coronal mass ejections (CME’s) were produced.
Described as “one for the history books”, AR 2192 is also a region of gigantic magnetic energy and produces beautiful auroras in northern latitudes.
And while AR 2192 is no longer visible, a second sunspot, AR 2205 has begun producing medium M-class flares during the last 24 hours. Now it is rotating towards earth. And unlike AR 2192, AR 2205 has already produced at least 4 CME’s (granted, they did not head toward our planet).
Scientists will continue tracking the second sunspot, which is believed ti generate at least one M-class flare per day toward our planet during the next ten days.
“The region  has been the source of two Radio Blackout storms on 3 November, an R1 (Minor) Radio Blackout and an R2 (Moderate) Radio Blackout.”
said the Space Weather Prediction Center.
These flares are powerful radiation eruptions from active areas on the Sun’s surface, and while the radiation can’t harm humans thanks to the Earth’s atmosphere, it is able to cause atmospheric disturbances affecting orbiting satellites and communications systems.
“None of the CMEs seen so far pose a threat to Earth, but as the region rotates into a more favorable position, that could change. SWPC forecasters are keeping a close eye on this region and we will keep this page updated as conditions warrant.”