Unusual large dark area at south pole of sun

Unusual dark area on the sun 1/31/15

Unusual dark area on the sun 1/31/15

In the last few days the sun as developed a rather large dark area at it’s south pole. Interestingly enough there are no sun spots in this area. It is visible in several bands and is very pronounced. There has not been an area this large in some time. The area is unusual in that it is consistent and cool across the entire face of the anomaly.

You can monitor this area as it develops on the Solar Image or Solar Video section of Knowledgeorb. There has not been an excessive amount of recent flares or bad space weather, this spot seems like a harmless anomaly, or perhaps it is the calm before the storm. In any case it is most unusual and interesting to watch as it develops.

Reduced coronal activity on south pole of sun

Click Image to see SDO AIA 211 real time video.

In this AIA 211 image you can also see the effect the area is having on the corona of the sun. It is clear In this SDO image the corona is not as active as it is around the rest of the parameter of the sun. Real time video of SDO 211 can be seen here. As you watch the video the coronal activity can be seen following the movement across the face of the sun.

About the author

Recipient of many prestigious NASA Awards including the Exceptional Public Service Medal and the Robert H. Goddard award. Experience includes working for NASA, as a contractor, in satellite design, construction and operations. Expert in the satellite operations concepts and ground systems including command, control, and science data processing.