Wednesday, 2 August 2017 - 16:49 UTC
Old sunspot region 2665 which caused a couple of large far side eruptions has now rotated back onto the earth-facing solar disk. It has received sunspot region number 2670 from the NOAA SWPC. Due to the activity this sunspot region displayed while it was on the far side, hopes were high for its return. So what is left of this group and should we expect more solar flares?
Well... no. We are looking at a sunspot region that was likely much larger on the far side and it has decayed a lot the past week or so. We only see two sunspots at the moment and an enormous amount of faculae. Faculae are bright areas that form when sunspot regions decay so it tells us something about this region's history. Sunspot region 2670 has a lot of faculae surrounding the two spots (see our header image made using the white light SDO/HMI image) which is a sign that this group used to be much larger and has decayed significantly.
Also worth nothing is that the region produced no major coronal mass ejections since 28 July so it is pretty safe to say that this region is down for the count. At least for now. It can regrow new spots so we shouldn't rule out the region completely but for now the chance that we are getting a strong solar flare from this region seems very low.
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|Predicted Kp max||3|
|M-class solar flare||1%|
|X-class solar flare||1%|
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|Last geomagnetic storm:||2017/10/15||Kp5 (G1)|
|Number of spotless days in 2017:||64|
|Current stretch spotless days:||2|