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Sun Spots Near Solar Maximum


  This massive display of sun spots was visible in late March 2001. The photo was taken on 29 March at 1:18 PM, PST from my home at 37 deg 58 min N latitude. Sizeable solar ejection events occurred during this week and the two nights following this display showed prominent auroras from much of the Northern Hemisphere. The very large complex at middle right  has the number AR9393 in the sunspot sequence. The area of this one spot is about 13 times the total surface area of the Earth. (For comparison, the diameter of the sun is about 1.4 million kilometers, versus the Earth's 12.75 thousand km and the moon's 3.4 thousand km. In miles, that's 0.88 million, 8.0 thousand, and 2.1 thousand, approximately.)

 Date  29 March 2001
 Scope  Meade 8 inch LX200 on Milburn wedge with Lumicon f6.3 reducer  
 Exposure  Supra 100 film, 1/500 sec @f6.3, Thousand Oaks full aperture +3 solar filter  
 Processing   Stretched in PhotoShop