OLD SUNSPOT RETURNS, EXPLODES: Old sunspot AR2644 has returned following a 2-week trip around the backside of the sun--and it is still active. During the late hours of April 18th, the sunspot's magnetic canopy exploded, producing a C5-class solar flare and hurling a spectacularly bright coronal mass ejection (CME) into space. The massive cloud of hot plasma will almost certainly miss Earth, but future explosions could be geoeffective as the sunspot turns toward our planet. Visit Spaceweather.com for more information and updates.
CHANCE OF MAGNETIC STORMS: NOAA forecasters estimate a 50% chance of polar geomagnetic storms on April 19th and 20th when a high-speed stream of solar wind is due to reach our planet. This could spark bright Northern Lights in the waxing spring twilight around the Arctic Circle. Monitor the aurora gallery for sightings.