Friday, February 24, 2012

Report for 2/24/12

This week was pretty exciting! On Tuesday, the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) captured stunning shots of the Lunar Transit (see images below). On Thursday, a "solar tsunami" erupted from the Sun, which released a burst of plasma into space at an incredible speed of approximately 250 km/s. A filament erupted this morning causing a coronal mass ejection (CME) to be hurled into space, but it is not headed for Earth and should not affect us.

Tuesday's Lunar Transit as seen by SDO.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Report for 2/17/12

Early in the week, sunspot AR1402 returned after a two-week trip around the back of the Sun. This sunspot (which has since been renamed AR1419) was the source of a major X-class solar flare on Jan. 27, but has since significantly decreased in size; it gave off only B- and C-class flares this week.

A geomagnetic storm (Kp=5) began early on Feb. 15th and gave sky watchers as far south as Minnesota the chance to see auroras. The Sun remained quiet the rest of the week and remains that way today. Do you think that a space weather event will occur over the weekend? Submit your forecast and let us know!

Today's Sun is quiet, but is still amazing to look at!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Report for 2/10/12

The Sun started the week off strong with a powerful coronal mass ejection (CME) and M1-class solar flare on Monday. Mid-week, a moderate solar wind stream flowed to Earth leading NOAA forecasters to predict a 40% chance of a geomagnetic storms in the higher latitudes. No major storm activity occurred, but sky watchers around the Arctic Circle were treated to vibrant auroras.

Last night, a filament on the Sun's northeastern limb exploded, causing a CME that is currently heading toward Venus. Although the blast is not headed our way, a new sunspot located near the blast site may be a potential source of solar activity in the upcoming week.

What do you think this weekend's space weather will be? Submit your forecast!

Today's Sun as seen by the Solar Dynamics Observatory.