Clark Lake is famous for its sunsets. Recently, lingering smoke from forest fires in Alberta has influenced how sunsets look, even at this distance. The dusty particles act similarly to a filter on a camera. Last evening (Sun 5/21) Diane Deming took some photos of the sunset. When she downloaded her photos from the camera and looked at them more closely, she had a better look at what showed up in the camera viewfinder.
Sunspots! Here’s a closer look.
Typically, the brightness of the sun at sunset (or anytime) obscures viewing surface activity without sophisticated tech equipment. Diane’s Olympus is an excellent, high quality camera. Add the filter of atmospheric conditions, and you can witness sunspots at Clark Lake.
According to the fount of all knowledge, the web, sunspots are “dark, planet-sized regions that appear on the surface of the Sun. They are caused by twisting, chaotic magnetic fields from within the Sun’s convective zone. These powerful magnetic disturbances produce active regions on the Sun, which can often create solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs). Because sunspots are associated with increased solar activity, space weather forecasters track these features to help predict solar storms that can impact Earth.” (More at this link).
Another version of the sunset with a different Photoshop tweak.
The activity on the sun or (C.M.E.’s) will continue to increase until 2025 at which point something called a “solar maximum” will occur, according to Shannon Schmoll at M.S.U.. “The material released during the solar flares and C.M.E.’s interact with the Earth’s magnetic field and excite particles in our atmosphere resulting in a beautiful light show in our sky known as the aurora”. This is why they have seen the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) as far south as Arkansas and Arizona. So keep your eyes pealed for the northern lights over Clarklake !
Thanks for the pictures Diane, and for the tutorial on sunspots.
Margie & Steve Harris