Morphogenesis - Priestessing on the edge of chaos: SUNSPOTS RETURN FOR MORE STORMS
Morphogenesis from the Greek morphe, form and genesis, coming into being
| SUNSPOTS RETURN FOR MORE STORMS|
| 18 Nov 2003 @ 11:10, by Letecia Layson|
By Dr David Whitehouse BBC News Monday, November 17, 2003
The giant sunspots that produced the largest explosion ever seen on the surface of our star are set to return.
They are moving back into view of the Earth after being carried to the Sun's far side by its 27-day rotation period.
Astronomers say that even out of direct vision the spots have continued to eject clouds of super-hot material.
The spots will point Earthwards again on 19 November. Although still very active, they are not expected to give out another X28-class solar fare.
Sunspot groups 486 and 488 produced record-breaking explosions earlier this month even though the Sun is supposed to be entering a period of declining activity - the peak of its 11-year cycle was a few years ago.
As the Sun's rotation took the groups out of view, astronomers were still able to keep an eye on them using a technique called helioseismic holography.
This allows the scientists to "look through" the Sun to see spot activity on the far side.
The holographic maps revealed 486 and 488 to still be active.
While on the far side of the Sun, explosions from their vicinity have been hurling clouds of gas over the Sun's limb in recent days.
The Sun's rotation will soon carry the pair back to the Earth-facing side of the star.
As they are still active, astronomers believe we are set for more solar storms when they reappear on or about Wednesday.
Indeed, the precursors to the giant sunspot group are just reappearing with the active region 484 just peeking over the Sun's eastern limb.
The spot looks smaller than it did in late October, but it too remains active - hurling a bright mass ejection into space on 13 November.
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