What is this strange ring that has been developing on the Sun?
Sunspot 1112, located in the southeast quadrant, has been the source of a giant filament that is currently stretching 400,000 km across the surface of the Sun.
However, today, there appears to be development of a enormous circular ring which looks to be linking with the huge magnetic filament of sunspot 1112. Most of today's various wavelength images of the Sun all show this feature over at the SDO (Solar Dynamics Observatory) - NASA website.
SpaceWeather.com today reports,
A vast filament of magnetism is cutting across the Sun's southern hemisphere today. A bright 'hot spot' just north of the filament's midpoint is UV radiation from sunspot 1112. The proximity is no coincidence; the filament appears to be rooted in the sunspot below. If sunspot flares, it could cause the entire structure to erupt. This active region merits watching...
What concerns me is that if indeed this is a huge magnetic filament nearly encircling the entire Sun, it is now currently directly facing the Earth. If sunspot 1112 does erupt, could the entire filament explode into a massive CME?
This particular phenomenon will be all over in a few days as it rotates around the Sun, but it serves to remind us that there are more and more events happening on the Sun as we transit into the next solar cycle maximum (peaking ~ 2012 into 2013).
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