Where's the sunspot region?

From about 20 June onwards, extreme ultraviolet images (SDO/AIA) showed several active regions approaching the Sun's east limb. They were characterized by dynamic large coronal loops, and one region even produced a C3 flare early on 23 June. This was region number 3 in the annotated images underneath, the regions being numbered here in order as they rounded the east limb. The images have been rotated 90 degrees clockwise, so with east to the top and north to the right. The activity raised hopes that several sunspot regions might soon round the east limb and become visible in white light (SDO/HMI). Alas, this was not the case. The active towering coronal loops were associated with large and bright faculae fields, devoid of any sunspots... except one (number 4 in the annotated images) which got numbered on 25 June (NOAA 2835). Faculae fields are areas of enhanced magnetic fields on the Sun. They can be the craddle for the development of new sunspots, and exist days to weeks after the sunspots have disappeared. Interestingly, while already on the visible solar disk, sunspots started to develop in active region 2 and got numbered as NOAA 2836 by the end of the week. The other two regions (numbers 1 and 3) remained spotless and so didn't get a number.

 

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