Northern Lights Now – A new active region is rotating into view on the Eastern horizon of the Sun and is already producing flaring. Once numbered it will be the 6th active region visible in May and it will be numbered 2712.
If it holds together, and continues flaring, this region could have an impact on Earth’s space weather around the end of the month. The region will rotate from East to West across the disk and enter the Earth strike zone in 3-4 days. Once in the strike zone, any eruptive flaring cloud launch a CME towards Earth that would arrive 2-4 days later.
For now, we’ll have to settle for marveling at the amazing imagery that comes from the SDO (Solar Dynamics Observatory) of this image. Here is am image of the solar disk during a flare coming from this new region.
And zoomed in to just the plasma loop visible during the flare:
The Sun continues to approach solar minimum with fewer and fewer sun spots and active regions. There should be a slow increase in sun spots and active regions from the next solar cycle over the next 24-36 months.