Solar Cycle24 July sunspot and F 10.7cm radio flux numbers are up slightly from June. Pretty much in line with the activity projection and much below that of Solar Cycle 23. (Click on Graphs for Clarity)
Large Filament on the Sun
The Sun currently has a filament that stretches more that 400,000km across the face. Filaments are formed in magnetic loops that hold relatively cool, dense gas suspended above the surface of the Sun. Because they are cooler than the photosphere they can look dark.
courtesy of solarham.net
But when viewed in profile they look like a giant loop, called a prominence.
courtesy of NASA
Occasionally when these filaments collapse, a coronal mass ejection (CME) can occur. Because the filament is looking directly at the Earth, a CME could cause problems. Lets hope this does not happen.