Sergio-Castillo-fc2_save_2014-03-14-153734-0000_1394841296_lgAmateur astronomers are noting an outbreak of dark magnetic filaments on the sun. The longest, which measure 100,000 km to 250,000 km from end to end, are snaking around the sun’s southeastern limb. Sergio Castillo sends this picture from his backyard observatory in Inglewood, CA: “If they collapse, these monster solar filaments could produce a Hyder flare,” says Castillo. Indeed, he continues, “one of them erupted just yesterday.” With all of the sunspots on the Earthside of the sun currently quieting, these filaments could be the source of greatest solar activity this weekend. Amateur astronomers with solar telescopes are encouraged to monitor developments. EXTINCTION PROTOCOL