Solar Thursday USA: An Eclipse AND a Massive Sunspot Group

October 20th, 2014 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

Residents of the eastern U.S. will be in a particularly good location to see a partial solar eclipse which will peak near sunset on Thursday, Oct. 23, and as a bonus the giant sunspot group 2192 should also be visible.

Here’s what sunspot 2192 looks like in recent days as it slowly rotates toward the central portion of the solar disk:

Sunspot 2192 has been pumping out solar flares on a daily basis, and has a good chance of producing an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection (CME) over the next week, which would lead to auroral displays.

As of right now, the best viewing of the eclipse looks like it will be in a general swath from the Upper Plains and Great Lakes (~60% solar disk coverage) through the Midwest and Ohio Valley toward the southeast U.S. The northeast U.S. viewing will depend on how much cloud cover remains from a slowly retreating low pressure system…some breaks in the clouds will allow at least scattered viewing there. Over the western U.S. the eclipse will occur during the afternoon and end before sunset.

Here in north Alabama I’ll be doing a time lapse video of the setting sun, weather permitting, when the partial eclipse will peak at about 40% at sunset.

Here’s an eclipse calculator simulation for your location.

DO NOT view the sun with the naked eye! Advice on methods for safely viewing the sun are provided by Astro Bob at

7 Responses to “Solar Thursday USA: An Eclipse AND a Massive Sunspot Group”

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  1. †Physicist.†↓ says:

    Sunspots may well influence Earth’s climate which is strongly correlated with the inverted plot of the scalar sum of the angular momentum o fthe Sun and all the planets. Possibly magnetic fields from the planets affect sunspots and regulate natural cycles.

    Carbon dioxide actually causes Earthís surface temperature to be very very slightly cooler, whilst water vapour has a significant cooling effect of about 10 to 12 degrees. This is because their radiating properties reduce the magnitude of the gravitationally-induced temperature gradient that is the state of thermodynamic equilibrium which the Second Law of Thermodynamics tells us will evolve spontaneously as entropy approaches a maximum.

    On all planets temperatures in any troposphere get hotter as you approach the base of that troposphere, whether or not there is a surface there, whether or not solar radiation reaches the lower troposphere and quite regardless of whether there is carbon dioxide or water vapour in the planetís atmosphere.

    There is absolutely no empirical evidence and no valid physics that you can produce which supports the ludicrous concept that radiation from colder regions in the troposphere produces more thermal energy to be transferred by radiation into a planetís surface than entered the atmosphere at its top. But that is precisely what the K-T and IPCC energy diagrams claim to be the case on Earth.

    Believe it if youíre that gullible!

    • jimc says:

      Ah, the old gravitationally-induced temperature gradient
      I remember it well
      Then someone replace it with thermally radiant
      And my tears I could not quell.

      They said it was a misinterpretation of ideal gas
      Despite my objection
      How could that come to pass?
      Guess Iíll have to do some introsepction