Observing the Sun

A Naked-Eye Spot Returns

The immense sunspot group that on November 4th ejected the largest solar flare ever recorded has rotated around the Sun and is back for a second pass across the Earth-facing side of the solar disk.

More Solar Blasts

Two large sunspot groups, currently disappearing around the western limb of the Sun, spawned another round of powerful flares. The result could be one more fine display of the aurora.

When is the earliest sunrise of the year?

The earliest sunrise of the year doesn't always occur on June 20th (the solstice), which has the longest day. Why? The earliest sunrise actually depends partly on latitude. In 2004, for latitude 40° north, it was June 13th. For 50° north, the earliest sunrise was on June 16th. At 30° south, where the seasons are…