Solar Highlights for January 18

Solar Rotation Nos: 2199 to 2200

Very low levels of solar activity, with many days where the Sun was either spotless or very near to spotless. There was a high southern latitude sunspot near the middle of the month. There were some nice prominences towards the end of the month.

Here is a summary for January 2018 and a selection of images taken by our observers.

2018 January 16 white light. Image taken by Mick Jenkins.


We had a spotless Sun from 1st until the 4th.

AR2693 was a faint type Axx sunspot that appeared on the western half of the solar disc at latitude +18° on the 5th. This tiny sunspot hardly changed over the next few days before finally disappearing on the 8th.

AR2694 another small type Bxo sunspot appeared on the 8th at a high southern latitude of -32°. This indicates that it is part of the new Sunspot Cycle. This sunspot did not last long as it quickly faded to a type Axx sunspot before disappearing completely by the 12th.

AR2695 appeared on the 12th on the southern hemisphere at latitude -08°. Another small (type Bxo) sunspot, it lasted a day and was gone by the 13th.

The Sun was spotless from the 13th to the 15th.

AR2696 appeared on the mid-southern latitudes on the 16th at -12°. It too was a sunspot type Bxo. It remained mostly the same until it started to fade on the 20th and disappeared by the 21st.

The Sun was spotless from the 21st to the 30th.

AR2697 appeared on the 31st and was another small southern hemisphere type Bxo sunspot at -10°.

SPA Sunspot Mean Daily Frequency: 0.30 (was 0.12)
SPA Relative Sunspot Number: 4.18 (was 1.56)

Solar Prominences, Plage, Filaments and Flares:

2018 January 7. Drawing made by Ian Lee.

There were a few filaments throughout the month. A dark isolated but quite active filament was seen on the northern hemisphere on the 6th to the 9th.

Prominences were to be seen on some days. For example, there was a smoke-stack prominence on the SE limb on the 7th. Three interesting prominences were seen on the 9th evenly spaced out along the eastern limb. The 20th saw AR2696 nearing the SW limb, with a bright plage behind the sunspot but preceded by a broad dusky looking filament and proms along the SW limb. From the 24th to the 26th (and on the 29th) we had no activity on the disc but there were some very nice prominences instead.

2018 January 9. Drawing made by Ian Lee.
2018 January 16. Hydrogen-alpha image taken by Mick Jenkins.
2018 January 26. Hydrogen-alpha images taken by Carl Bowron.
2018 January 29. Hydrogen-alpha images taken by Carl Bowron.

SPA Prominence Mean Daily Frequency: 2.28 (was 2.57).

Well done to Jonathan Shanklin, who observed 23 days (from the Halley Base, Antarctica), to Brian Gordon-States who observed 22 days, and to Alan Heath who achieved 20 days.

Detailed count records of Active Regions and Relative Sunspot Numbers came from: Brian Gordon-States, Michael Fullerton, Alan Heath, Mick Jenkins, Ian Lee, and Jonathan Shanklin.

Images and drawings were supplied by: Carl Bowron, Mick Jenkins, Ian Lee and Cliff Meredith.

Geoff Elston