Sunday, January 22, 2006

Sunspot the Size of Saturn

Spaceweather.com has an interesting brief about Sunspot 848. It has grown considerably in the past four days and is now about 120,000 km from end to end. That's almost as big as Saturn.
They have a great snippet of video showing the Sun and the little brown speck that is the massive Sunspot 848.
Sunspots can have an impact on weather and telecommunications here on Earth, but so far this one is not a threat.
Interestingly enough the spot is big enough to be seen with the naked eye, assuming you use the proper equipment and not blind yourself by trying to look directly at it. Spaceweather.com provides easy instructions for constructing your own solar viewer using a small telescope or binoculars.

I live in Indianapolis, not the best place to be if you're looking for sunshine, so I couldn't try it myself.
If any of you try it I'd love to hear how it works out. What can you see? Send me a photo if possible and we'll Post it right here...

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