The Sun erupted with a solar flare, one of the largest of the current solar cycle on Sept. 10, 2017.
September 29 | 2017
Its source was the same sunspot region that produced flares the week before that. In this video, you see two wavelengths of extreme ultraviolet light at the same time and each reveals different features of the Sun. Both are colorized to identify in which wavelength they were observed. The coils of loops after the flare are the magnetic field lines reorganizing themselves after the eruption. The video covers about six hours. Credit: NASA/Solar Dynamics Observatory
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