Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sunspot Activity Hasn’t Stopped Yet

Written by Tammy Plotner

According to SpaceWeather: “Fast-growing active region 1161 erupted on the morning of February 18, producing an M6.6-class solar flare at 1011 UT. The almost-X category blast was one of the strongest flares in years and continued the week-long trend of high solar activity.” Just how awesome is that? Then take a look at these white light solar images done by John Chumack…

While today’s activity isn’t supposed to impact Earth in a negative manner, who knows what it might produce in the days ahead? Just ask NOAA!

“A G1 (minor) geomagnetic storm continues. What might have been three hits of shocks/CMEs seems to have merged to be just one interplanetary shock/CME structure. Look for about another day’s worth of geomagnetic activity, pending additional treats in the solar wind. Elsewhere Region 1158 had another R2 (moderate) radio blackout, and fast-growing new Region 1162 likely generated an R1 (minor) event.”

With 1158 nearing the limb and wonderfully active, now is the time for solar observers to try and catch the “Wilson Effect” – an effect in which the penumbra of a sunspot appears narrower in the direction toward the Sun’s center.

While you’re at it, it doesn’t hurt to keep watch for auroral activity tonight and in the days ahead – despite the lunar interference. With satellite communications impacted in my area, I’m anxious to see what the nights – and days – bring!

Many thanks to John Chumack of Galactic Images for sending some "sunlight" my way!

No comments:

Post a Comment