10 January 2013 : Sunspot number = 153
Sunspot AR1652 has a beta-gamma magnetic field
that harbors energy for M-class solar flares.
Twin Sunspots AR1654 :The two sunspots are connected by a canopy of strong magnetic fields, which are presently crackling with low-level C-flares. Much stronger eruptions are possible.
NOAA forecasters estimate a 40% chance of M-class flares and a 5% chance of X-flares during the next 24 hours.
Comet ISON is a sungrazer. On November 28, 2013, it will fly through the sun's outer atmosphere only 1.2 million km from the stellar surface below. If the comet survives the encounter, it could emerge glowing as brightly as the Moon, visible near the sun in the blue daylight sky. The comet's dusty tail stretching into the night would create a worldwide sensation.
Comet ISON looks so puny now because it is so far away, currently near the orbit of Jupiter. As it falls toward the sun in the months ahead it will warm up and reveal more about its true character. By the summer of 2013, researchers should know whether optimistic predictions about Comet ISON are justified. Possibilities range from "Comet of the Century" to disintegrated dud. Stay tuned! www.spaceweather.com