Sunspots are planet-sized islands in the solar photosphere, the bright surface of the Sun, and dark because they are slightly cooler than the surrounding surface. The field of view of the image spans nearly 100,000 miles, captured in a close-up telescopic snapshot from July 11. © Alan Friedman/ avertedimagination.
An X-class solar flare and coronal mass ejection erupted from AR1520 on July 12, releasing some of the energy stored in the region’s twisted magnetic fields. Headed this way, the coronal mass ejection may trigger geomagnetic storms.