Japanese space probe, observatory record huge sunspot activity – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun


Images of a sunspot cluster 66 times the size of Earth were released by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) on Nov. 19.

The solar observation probe Hinode and NAOJ took pictures of the sunspots from Oct. 16 to Oct. 30, before the sun’s rotation obstructed the view. The sunspot cluster could be seen again on Nov. 15, but it had shrunk to one-third of its peak size on Oct. 26.

Sunspots appear in big clusters when the sun is most active. Large solar flares, a phenomenon triggered by sunspot activity, were also observed on the surface of the sun on six occasions in October.

Solar activity intensifies and then decreases over an 11-year cycle, according to the observatory. The sun currently appears to be in one of the most active phases of that cycle, they said.

The last time such a huge sunspot appeared was in 1990. That sunspot was 74 times the size of Earth and was observed over a four-month period.

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN astronomysunNational Astronomical Observatory of JapanJAXAsunspotssolar activity




via Japanese space probe, observatory record huge sunspot activity – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun.


This brief announcement from the Japanese newspaper “Ashai Shinbun” should prepare us for more solar activity.  These sunspots seem capable of generating large solar flares, which could disrupt communications on Earth. Scientists are concerned about solar flares, because much of our technological infrastructure is super sensitive to solar radiation.  A “Carrington Event”, such as the one in 1859, could render much of our solid state electronics inoperable. Potential damage could be extended to medical devices, transportation vehicles, and power generation.  My Drake TR-4 still works. Do you have a backup tube rig in case your state of the art transceiver is “fried”?

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Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

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