One of the largest sunspots in years is now visible, rotating around into view on the Sun’s limb on November 3, 2011. The Solar Dynamics Observatory team called Active Region 1339 a “Bad Boy,” as at 20:27 UTC, a solar flare peaked at X1.9.
X-class flares are massive, and can be major events that can trigger planet-wide radio blackouts and long-lasting radiation storms. This region is not facing Earth — yet. But we’ll be keeping on eye on it as it turns toward an Earth-facing direction.
Credit: NASA SDO