Friday, July 23, 2010

Sunspot 1089

Sunspot 1089 has grown so large, it can now be seen without the aid of a solar telescope. On July 21st, Gil Esquerdo "spotted it" as the sun set over Kitt Peak, Arizona:

Esquerdo was located on adjacent Mt. Hopkins. "Twice a year, the sun sets behind Kitt Peak as seen from the ridge on Mt. Hopkins and the Whipple Observatory," he says. "Our monsoon thunderstorms cooperated long enough for me to photograph the event."

Kitt Peak is home to more than a dozen world-class telescopes, and many of their silhouettes can be seen in Esquerdo's photo. Highlights include the triangular profile of the great McMath-Pierce solar telescope and the towering dome of the Mayall 4-meter telescope.

Caution: Although sunspot 1089 is large enough to see with the naked eye, looking for it is not recommended. Even when sunlight is dimmed by clouds and haze, you can still suffer permanent eye damage by staring too long at the unfiltered sun. Be careful.

Article republished from

Sunspot 1089 as seen from SDO: