Friday, March 16, 2012

Report for 3/16/12

Sunspot AR1429, which caused a flurry of solar events last week, unleashed a massive M8-class solar flare on March 10th and M7-class flare on March 13th. The latter blast was followed by a coronal mass ejection (CME) that caused yesterday's geomagnetic storm (Kp=6). AR1429 has been so active that sky watchers in the Arctic Circle have witnessed auroras for almost two weeks straight.

Comet SWAN, a Kreutz sungrazer comet, rocketed toward the Sun on March 14th, but did not survive. This comet was much smaller than Comet Lovejoy
, a sungrazer comet that got a great deal of attention last December for making it around the Sun and surviving its journey.

Do you think there will be any major solar events this weekend? Submit your forecast and let us know what you think!

Comet SWAN (bottom left) races to the Sun (blocked out by center disc).
SOHO captured this footage on March 14th.

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