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As sunspots go, AR 2192 is, as astronomer Phil Plait has noted, “freakishly huge.”

Discovery News says: “Amateur astronomers have been wowed by a vast sunspot that has rotated to face Earth, the largest since this solar cycle began in 2008, and solar observatories (on the ground and orbiting Earth) are closely monitoring the region.”

How vast is it? Discovery writes that “the sunspot located at the base of AR2192 has swelled to over 80,000 miles across — Jupiter could almost fit inside the sunspot’s mottled diameter.”

The sunspot is particularly interesting because of its potential to wreak havoc here on Earth.

According to Universe Today: “[As] the Sun rotates this monster into our line of sight, possibilities for Earth-directed flares and coronal mass ejections increase as do geomagnetic storms, the bringer of auroras.”

‘Freakish’ Sunspot Wows Astronomers

Photo credit: NASA

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distant-traveller:

From the Temple of the Sun to the Temple of the Moon

What connects the Sun to the Moon? Many answers have been given throughout history, but in the case of today’s featured image, it appears to be the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy. The 16-image panorama was taken in Capitol Reef National Park, Utah, USA where two sandstone monoliths — the Temple of the Moon on the right and the Temple of the Sun on the left — rise dramatically from the desert. Each natural monument stands about 100 meters tall and survives from the Jurassic period 160 million years ago. Even older are many of the stars and nebulas that dot the celestial background, including the Andromeda Galaxy. Tomorrow the Earth will connect the Sun to the Moon by way of its shadow: a total lunar eclipse will be visible from many locations around the globe.

Image credit & copyright: Dave Lane

Interesting

From the Sun’s superhuman strength to leaving a permanent mark on the Moon, fascinating facts about space:

  • Despite its serene appearance when viewed from Earth, the energy produced from the Sun is so strong that every second its core releases the equivalent of 100 billion nuclear bombs.
  • The next time you’re cloud watching, ponder this: by studying the skies, you are essentially staring into history. Why? The light you presently enjoy travels from distant stars and galaxies takes hundreds, thousands and sometimes millions of years to reach us.
  • While Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun, its temperatures can reach a biting -280 degrees Fahrenheit as Mercury lacks the atmospheric pressure necessary to trap heat. Venus, on the other hand, has a thick atmosphere to trap heat and is markedly hotter than Mercury, despite being farther away from the sun.
  • If you are ever lucky or wealthy enough to gallivant to the moon, you can expect your presence to remain much longer than anticipated. As there is no air or wind on the moon, your footprints are likely to last forever (barring a meteoric collision, of course).
Photography

All That Is Interesting: Interesting Facts About Space

From the Sun’s superhuman strength to leaving a permanent mark on the Moon, fascinating facts about space:

Despite its serene appearance when viewed from Earth, the energy produced from the Sun is so strong that every second its core releases the equivalent of 100 billion nuclear bombs.

The next time you’re cloud watching, ponder this: by studying the skies, you are essentially staring into history. Why? The light you presently enjoy travels from distant stars and galaxies takes hundreds, thousands and sometimes millions of years to reach us.

While Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun, its temperatures can reach a biting -280 degrees Fahrenheit as Mercury lacks the atmospheric pressure necessary to trap heat. Venus, on the other hand, has a thick atmosphere to trap heat and is markedly hotter than Mercury, despite being farther away from the sun.

If you are ever lucky or wealthy enough to gallivant to the moon, you can expect your presence to remain much longer than anticipated. As there is no air or wind on the moon, your footprints are likely to last forever (barring a meteoric collision, of course).

Source: All That Is Interesting