Sunday, July 29, 2012

Geomagnetic Storm Warning. Solar Activity Picks Up.

GEOMAGNETIC STORM WARNING: NOAA forecasters estimate a 45% chance of polar geomagnetic storms on July 29-30 in response to a high-speed solar wind stream buffeting Earth's magnetic field. Even stronger storming could occur on July 31st when a CME associated with yesterday's M6-flare arrives. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras for the next three nights. 

SOLAR ACTIVITY PICKS UP: Sunspot AR1532 is crackling with M-class solar flares. The latest, an M6-class eruption on July 28th (2056 UT), produced a bright flash of extreme ultraviolet radiation, shown here in a snapshot from the Solar Dynamics Observatory:

Update: Contrary to earlier reports, this explosion did produce a CME and the cloud is heading for Earth. According to a forecast track prepared by analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab, the CME will reach our planet on July 31st at 1500 UT (+/- 7 hours). Weak to moderate geomagnetic storms are possible when the cloud arrives.

Pick of The Week


C2: Quicktime (large) (8.2M), Quicktime (small) (731K), MP4 (2.6M), M4V (879K) 
Magnetic active region 1520-1521 erupted again (July 19, 2012) at the edge of the Sun, this time producing an M7-class flare that almost crossed the threshold into X-territory (largest). Associated with the flare was a coronal mass ejection observed by SOHO's two coronagraphs. The small, white particles splattering the CCD for hours after the eruption are high-energy protons moving at half the speed of light. The front edge of the mass ejection was clocked at over 2 million miles an hour.

Super-sized Loops

Super-sized Loops
Magnetic field lines between two active regions extended across about one-third of the Sun to make their connections (July 23-24, 2012). The magnetically powerful active regions were just rotating into view, giving us a wonderful profile of their activity. The lower active region also spurts out several bursts of plasma as well. The looping arcs above each active region shows off the field lines nicely too. The video clip covers about 36 hours of activity in extreme ultraviolet light.

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