Awakening Sun (December 25, 2009)
Hi-res TIF image (415K)
For the first time in over a very quiet solar year, the Sun as seen by SOHO is sporting 5 active regions (Dec. 22, 2009). The brightest regions in the extreme UV image are magnetic active regions. And the brighter an area appears, then we know that its magnetic energy is stronger. Two of these regions are associated with dark sunspots when viewed in visible wavelengths; the other areas have not developed into sunspots yet. This activity could signal that the long solar minimum is beginning to give way to greater activity levels, but we will just have to wait and see.
SOHO began its Weekly Pick some time after sending a weekly image or video clip to the American Museum of Natural History (Rose Center) in New York City. There, the SOHO Weekly Pick is displayed with some annotations on a large plasma display.
If your institution would also like to receive the same Weekly Pick from us for display (usually in Photoshop or QuickTime format), please send your inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.