Yesterday I got some images after clouds parted and discovered the Sun literally spotted with magnetic activity. Just eleven days before, not a spot was to be found. This goes along with the Sun being between solar minimum when no spots are seen for weeks at a time, and solar maximum when spots bespeckle the Sun like a kid with chicken pox. The cycle between minimum and maximum sunspot numbers varies, but averages 11 years.
The dark spots reside in dense, twisted magnetic fields revealed as the bright areas or “plages” around the dark spots. These spot-containing areas are known as “active regions” and are numbered by NOAA as noted above. The ones with “????” notation have not yet received a number, but likely will in the next day or two. Spots often pop up overnight and usually last a few days to a week or two before disappearing, but rare ones may persist for over a month.