The variegated sun shines in New York in a beautiful picture of an observer in the sky.
Amateur astronomer Alexander Krivenishev, president of WorldTimeZone.com, photographed the sun over the Big Apple on Saturday morning (November 28th). A close-up image he took clearly shows a large one sunspot known as AR2786 and his younger cousin, AR2785.
Krivenishev took the photos with a Canon EOS7D camera, with a close-up solar filter attached. Attention: Do not try to take such pictures unless you also have a sunscreen. Looking directly the sun, with the naked eye or with instruments such as cameras or telescopes, can cause serious and permanent eye damage, including blindness.
Connected: How to safely observe the sun (infographic)
AR2786 and AR2785 turned in sight just before Thanksgiving. AR2786 is several times wider than Earth.
Sunspots are temporary dark spots that are significantly cooler than the rest of the sun̵
Sunspots appear where the sun’s magnetic fields are particularly strong and they serve as launch pads for eruptions and eruptions of super hot plasma, known as coronal mass discharge. For centuries, scientists have counted sunspots as a way to measure solar activity.
This activity increases and decreases over an 11-year cycle. The last, the solar cycle 25, began in December 2019 and is expected to be quite quiet, as was the solar cycle 24. But the sun is already acting at least a little: On Sunday (November 29), our star shoot your most powerful torch for more than three years.
Mike Wall is the author of “Out there“(Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Carl Tate), a book on the search for extraterrestrial life. Follow it on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook.