A new sunspot has developed on the surface of the Sun. Designated AR953, this sunspot is approximately three times the size of our little planet.
This sunspot is teeming with activity and observers with solar telescopes have witnessed "Ellerman Bombs" going off on the surface. These bombs are explosions about one-millionth as powerful as a true solar flare and appear as white specs around the visible sunspot.
Sunspot AR953 is growing ever more complex and now harbours energy for X-class solar flares. X-class flares are the largest in the solar flare categorization. These flares are major events that can trigger planet-wide radio blackouts and long-lasting radiation storms, but don't worry - they pose no threat to us here on Earth!
You can see more of my pictures of the Sun in my Solar Observation Gallery.
Last updated on: Tuesday 16th January 2018