New sunspot
©Pete Lawrence

A new sunspot is emerging in the sun's northern hemisphere. After several months of almost-relentlessly blank suns, "this is like a breath of fresh plasma," says photographer Pete Lawrence who sends this picture from Selsey, UK. The magnetic polarity of the emerging spot identifies it as a member of new Sunspot Cycle 24.

more images: from Didier Favre of Brétigny sur Orge, France; from Robert Arnold of Isle of Skye, Scotland.