So when we were in Moulay Yacoub, I had a posted a picture of the sunset. One thing we have enjoyed being here is that with the extreme amount of dust, there is a long while the sun is viewable with the naked eye as it's setting. This time when we were watching it, we noticed a faint dark spot on the lower hemisphere that we sort of assumed was a sunspot, but we were also in disbelief since we did not think one could be so big that we'd notice it just with our naked eye. Since it wasn't moving through the atmosphere and continued to be in the same place on the sun as it was moving down, we couldn't imagine it'd be anything else. Finally last night we looked up the latest space weather to see if anything had been occurring, and sure enough, we found out that July 11-12 was sunspot 1520 (and minor spots 1519 and 1521) and it was indeed what we had witnessed.

My camera/lens was too weak to capture it, but Jake's pictures are definitely evidence:
It certainly seems to be a peak in activity lately for flares and sunspots, though I keep reading that the height is still expected in 2013. I am even more excited about our planned Alaskan cruise for some spectacular Aurorae pictures! Maybe I'll even be lucky enough to have a telescope by then to take awesome sunspot pictures or planetary nebulae and the like. One can dream... 
Hope
18/7/2012 12:27:53 pm

Hey, Lora the Explorer! Thanks for sharing (thanks Jake) the awesome sun shot. I haven't checked out Jakes site yet, but plan to. Hope all is well. We miss you! I forwarded your blog address to our peoples in TX. Have a great day! Love always, Mom

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