peak in the 11 year cycle of sunspot activity
this is related to the sun's magnetic field flipping
water world with fire
which means this year is...
the year after the solar maximum
and still pretty good for solar activity so far.
took some relatively high power images of sun spots on new year's day:
the sun's surface rotates with a period of approximately 28 days when viewed from earth...
so here it is a few days later on 1/5/14 facing us:
this was a big one which could be easily seen without magnification (looking thru filter)
on 1/7/14 a coronal mass ejection was launched from this spot aimed right at us
as a result, tonight we're going to get hit by plasma consisting of charged protons, electrons, alpha particles and such...
which means major aurora activity tonight at the poles
there's a slight chance that you may see some activity if you live moderately far north
so take a look outside
you may see some strange lights
for more on this check out