From: Goddard Space Flight Center
Posted: Thursday, October 23, 2003
Hi-res TIF image ( 3.5M)
As if announcing that it was approaching and ready to rumble, Active Region 484 fired off two small coronal mass ejections (CMEs) on October 18, 2003 not long after it rotated into view. A spectral line of singly-ionized helium at 304 ?ngstroms shows the state of the solar plasma at roughly 60,000 C. A day later, this active region, moving across the lower left side of the Sun, then shot off two M-class flares (moderate-sized) and one X-class flare (the major category). As it rotates further towards the center and right side of the Sun, it may well send a solar storm heading towards Earth. As of Oct. 22, the sunspot region had grown to about the size of seven Earths, making it one of the larger sunspot groups seen this year.
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