SFI = 98
A index = 9
K index = 3
SSN = 25
CHANCE OF EARTH-DIRECTED FLARES: Growing sunspot AR3068 has developed a ‘beta-gamma’ magnetic field that harbors energy for M-class solar flares. Any explosions today will be geoeffective because the sunspot is almost directly facing Earth.
GIANT SOLAR PROMINENCE: There’s a loop of plasma on the sun’s eastern limb so large that normal scientific notation doesn’t describe it. “It’s ginormous,” explains Richard N. Schrantz, who sends this picture from his backyard observatory in Nicholasville, Kentucky:
The arch is 325,000 km long–almost the distance between Earth and the Moon. These dimensions make it an easy target for backyard solar telescopes. If you have one, don’t wait. The right foot of the structure is increasingly unstable, and the whole thing could collapse at any moment.