At one time I had really big plans for the Sun and this blog, gonna post a lot of images and such, but alas the Sun has not been co-operating, nothing going on, little or no Sunspots, flares or prominences. I took the image of Sunspot 0999 above over a month ago. The image below is what was on Spaceweather.com today, actually been the same blank Sun for going on 6 weeks now.
A little bit of solar background, the Sun's solar activity such as sunspots, flares and prominences goes through an 11 year cycle of highs and lows, we are currently on the extra long decaying end of cycle 23, in the next few months we will see more solar activity as the Sun builds to solar maximum around 2012. At solar maximum we can expect to see upwards of 120 sunspots and intense solar flares daily as well as auroras as far south as Florida.
The Phoenix lander has been drilling into the Martian surface with it's motorized rasp on the back of it's robotic arm, collecting the sample with it's scoop and then watching and documenting the whole procedure kind of like a dress rehearsal in preparation for an actual gathering and depositing in the lander's oven when they are hoping they will finally be able to get some of that ice water into an oven to scientifically conclude ice water on Mars.
Okay now for the exciting news, NASA just released some 3D stereo views of the Martian surface around the lander. You've heard me talk before about my cardboard 3D glasses, people mock me for wearing them, actually I'm wearing them right now as I type, and yes It isn't the easiest thing to do, type while your wearing 3D glasses, but boy is it ever cool, may not look cool, but the view of the images with these glasses is, well it's like you're there, get yourself some of these glasses, you'll never regret it. Before I got my professional ones I had made some up by buying blue and red gels and taping the cut out squares to my glass lenses, word of advice, you may want to do that in private, it's not like people will think anything less of you when they see you wearing them, it's just they probably won't think anything more of you.
I'll leave you now with an animated Lunar Pleiades Occultation.