Parts of northern California have been ravaged by intense and fast-burning wildfires that broke out on October 8.
October 10 | 2017
Blazes that started on a few hundred acres around Napa Valley were fanned by strong northeasterly winds, and by October 10, the 14 fires had consumed as much as 100,000 acres of land. NASA Earth observing satellites capture images of the fires from their unique vantage point in space. States of emergency have been declared in Napa, Sonoma, Yuba, and Mendocino counties, and thousands of people were asked to evacuate. The densely populated “wine country” is famous for its vineyards and wine-making operations and the tourists they attract. Credit: NASA
Darker, cooler areas on the Sun – known as sunspots – have been absent for almost two weeks, as of Feb. 1.
February 06 | 2018
A single, tiny one appeared on Jan. 31, but even that is hard to see in this rotating view from our Solar Dynamics Observatory. The video shows a rotating sun in filtered light for the past week, but it is even hard to tell the sun is rotating since there are just about no features. This spotless period is a prelude to the approaching period of solar minimum next year, when the Sun’s activity will be at the low end of its 11-year cycle. Credit: NASA/SDO