Thursday, April 26, 2012

Report for 4/26/12

There was a lunar transit on Saturday, which was captured by NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) cameras.  The picture below was taken by SDO in extreme ultraviolet light.

On Monday and Tuesday, geomagnetic storms (Kp=5-6) occurred as a result of a coronal mass ejection (CME) that blasted by the Earth.  The solar activity caused auroras, which could be seen as far south as Colorado and Nebraska in the US.

Do you predict there will be any space weather events in the next 24 hours?  Submit your forecast!

Saturday's lunar transit as seen by NASA SDO.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Report for 4/12/12

The Sun was pretty quiet this week, with virtually no sunspots on Tuesday! This shows that although we are approaching solar max, there can still be periods of intense quiet on the Sun. The largest solar flare that occurred was a C-class blast on Monday; a coronal mass ejection (CME) that was expected to hit Earth on that same day missed, so geomagnetic activity was low this week.

A few sunspots have appeared on the Sun in the last few days, which may cause some increased activity. Do you think there will be any space weather events in the next 24 hours? Submit your forecast and let us know!

There were no sunspots on Tuesday!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Report for 4/6/12

Although sunspot AR1429 recently returned from its journey around the backside of the Sun, solar activity has been low this week. This sunspot (which has since been renamed AR1451) was the source of over 50 solar flares from March 2nd to 15th, but has significantly decreased in size over the past few weeks.

A coronal mass ejection (CME) that erupted from the Sun on April 2nd was predicted to hit Earth two days later, but there have been no signs of it yet. It is possible it missed Earth, but we are still on the lookout for it.

The Sun also did a 360 degree roll this wee
k. Just kidding! Although it appears the Sun did a somersault, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) actually did. Twice a year, the SDO spacecraft does a 360 degree roll about the spacecraft-Sun line; this maneuver allows scientists to identify optical distortions in solar images. It also enables them to determine if the Sun's sphere is changing over time as a result of the solar cycle.

The Solar Dynamics Observatory did a 360 roll on Wednesday (not the Sun).