Space Weather News for Sept. 22, 2009
NEW SUNSPOTS: In a year when the sun has been utterly blank 80% of the time, the sudden emergence of two large sunspots in a single day is a noteworthy event. Today is such a day. NASA satellites and amateur astronomers are monitoring a pair of growing sunspots, both apparently members of long-overdue Solar Cycle 24. The emergence of these active regions is not enough to end the deepest solar minimum in nearly a hundred years, but they do represent a significant uptick in solar activity.
SEPT. EQUINOX: Today, Sept. 22nd at 2118 UT (5:18 pm EDT), the sun crosses the celestial equator. This event marks the beginning of autumn in the northern hemisphere and spring in the southern hemisphere. It’s also the beginning of aurora season around the poles. Happy equinox!