Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Report for 12/21/11

As of today, the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center forecasts a very low chance of solar flares in the next few days (see image to the right). They also predict a low chance (15%) of geomagnetic storm activity. Over the past week, the predicted chances of solar storms were similarly low and there have been no reports of any major space weather events.

This doesn't mean that the past week wasn't exciting, however!

Last Thursday, a thrilling event was captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). Comet Lovejoy, a large Kreutz comet (also called a "sungrazer" comet), passed by the Sun and, to many people's surprise, it survived! These comets are often burned up by the Sun as they pass by it in their orbital paths; however, Lovejoy could be seen emerging from the other side of the Sun after passing behind it. Many of our fans followed along with us on Twitter and our Comet Lovejoy website to see the event as it unfolded!

Sightings of the comet's tail have recently been reported by many folks living in the Southern Hemisphere. Click here to watch a neat video of the comet's tail filmed in Australia this morning.

Comet Lovejoy heads to the Sun (taken by SOHO).

No comments:

Post a Comment