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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:34 pm 
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Now THAT is a solar prominence.

It followed a small C-class flare. As you can see, it's right on the limb, and for all practical purposes not geoeffective.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:55 pm 
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Another nice lil' ol' prominence going here:

http://www.solarham.net/pictures/archiv ... 2_prom.jpg

Not geoeffective. Just a nice New Year's blowout.

Gotta love that SDO.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 2:06 pm 
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Quite a case of the old spots on the solar disk right now. This should bump up the smoothed sunspot number in a few months if it persists. With springtime radio propagation coming, one can hope. Meanwhile few are energetic and twisted up enough for any kind of significant flaring.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 3:13 pm 
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Still nice and spotty on our friendly neighborhood star. Active region 1652 is a real winner, but still any kind of massively disruptive flare is a real long shot. This cycle's sunspots just aren't that unstable... so far...

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:11 pm 
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Daily unsmoothed sunspot number creeping up on 200. Pretty good for this cycle. Still no really unstable (magnetically complex) areas.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:58 pm 
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Active region 1654, just now coming around the limb towards the earth facing side of the sun, is worth keeping an eye on. It may or may not blow, and if it does blow the chances of a big ass X class flare are in the 0-5% range, but it's good sunspot theater either way. It's complex and highly dynamic. We'll be able to track it all the way across the disk.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:03 pm 
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We're rockin! It's about time. Ordinarily right about now the news would be talking about how the solar cycle will soon kill us all, except this go-round the major consequence (so far) has been one dandy M-class flare, and then a long-duration M-class event with non-geoeffective CME. We have a 50% probability of more of same. Probability of X-class remains at 5%, though, and so foil hats will not be ordered.

Region 1654 is finally living up to what sunspots are about, and we have a couple of weeks of good theater left before it rotates completely off.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:08 pm 
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OK, Region 1654 is now bigger across than Jupiter and visible (with proper protection) by the unaided eye. Adjacent region 1656 was cranking too, but it's largely gone. 1654, while still magnetically complex and extremely geoeffective, is actually looking a bit wussy. This cycle is like that. Maybe another class M, but class X probability is back to 5%.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:27 pm 
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CME from the earlier Class M event appears to be here. Bz (interplanetary magnetic field component that relates to aurora) is negative and K (quasi-logarithmic geomagnetic range index pertaining to planetary magnetic field motions) is 4. This is tech speak for go look for aurora if you're somewhere it's around midnight.

Otherwise it's another weak event of no interest to anyone except those who think this stuff is kind of fun.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:28 pm 
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Nice little movie here of region 1654 magnetic activity:
http://www.spaceweather.com/images2013/ ... 9em76qf0h1

Agreed that all the reconnecting of magnetic lines that we see here is probably what prevented X class flaring. It's when sunspots fail to self-organize and the magnetic fields break that the big stuff happens. We're talking ooooodles of energy here.

Of course, we got a C class event from a spotless plage this morning. Happens. Our neighborhood star is interesting like that.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:23 pm 
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Active region 1654 is about to rotate off the limb, having somehow managed to keep its cool for the whole trip across. We are now pretty inactive, with only a couple other wussy regions visible, and flares are a long shot at best. Some more good aurora in the high latitudes, especially the Arctic where it's dark a lot. This cycle is all time for aurora viewing, though for everything else it does start to look like a last gasp on the way to a Dalton Minimum and even less of an excuse to get all wadded up about solar flares.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:08 pm 
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Active region 1667 is in the middle of the disk, and kicked out a C8.7 flare with radio bursts and CME. By some miracle, the CME is predicted to miss Earth. New region 1669 is coming around the limb and it's magnetically complex with a primo trail of plage behind, but right now the spots are pretty wussy.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:47 pm 
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Some interesting coronal events, with the dreaded Bz turning south for extended periods and some primo aurora in the usual northern/southern places. Right now Kp (the magnetic fluctuation) is 4, just below storm threshold. All this is going on with very low activity on the sun so it's coronal mass not flares.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 4:07 pm 
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you would be a great App for cell phones and tablets

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:09 pm 
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I think they have them. Also you can follow a couple of twitter reporting things.

Active region 1678 is making its trip across the visible disk, and it's magnetically complex. It will be worth watching for activity though nothing hellacious is expected. We have more CMEs so the aurora show may continue in the usual places.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:45 pm 
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Still showtime for region 1678. It popped out a C8.2 flare last night, and it's still unstable. However, it's rotating over the limb soon. Meanwhile nothing especially dangerous is expected, just some more solar wind episodes from a coronal hole and other disturbances.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:12 pm 
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1678 is about to rotate over the limb, bye bye. The other regions are all wusses.

I'm in the think-the-previously-unthinkable view that Cycle 24 has, in fact, hugely undershot the predictions. There is not much time left before a double peak like the one in Cycle 23 is very unlikely, and we are left with a very low, very broad, cycle that almost certainly ushers in an extended period of practically no sunspots at all.

This sounds more catastrophic for radio communication than it is. There will be a thin ionosphere, but there will still be an ionosphere. The major worry will continue to be increased terrestrial noise from poorly designed consumer electronics, requiring a rethinking of what constitutes reliable communication on the HF band.

All this supports the conclusion that the danger of a catastrophic solar flare bringing civilization to a complete halt is real, but far less likely than sensational claims in the media. Flares, and large ones, can happen on a quiet sun, but then an asteroid can hit the Earth, or the Yellowstone caldera can collapse again, wiping out most life on the North American continent. Or, for that matter, a vacuum fluctuation could lead to the rather sudden non-existence of the universe. At some point, there are much more likely threats to be considering.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:23 pm 
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K index got to 5, minor storm, last night and is still sitting at 4. This means little for mid latitudes. And it's coronal holes, not a flare.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:56 pm 
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This guy knows a lot more than I do, and he seems to think it's not too late for a double peak. Since it does seem likely from the past two cycles that the two solar hemispheres are currently out of phase, one can't discount this idea.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=6j4bl57D_1U

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:43 pm 
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BIG ASS solar flare from good old Region 1678 on the far side of the sun. Huge full-halo CME blasting out into space, directly away from Earth. No relevance whatsoever for our little planet, but it happened, indicating solar activity is picking up.

Little (M1.2) flare on our side, kind of, near the limb. Caused a radio sweep. Photos indicate CME, but should not have any large effect.

This continues to be the best cycle ever for aurora. Continuous, bright, and photogenic, in the usual places.

Don't forget the comet later this month when it becomes visible in this hemisphere. It's been incredible down south.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:44 pm 
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OK, finally got some action. It's an M1.2 flare, incapable of any real damage, but the full-halo CME is headed right our way. Probably some storming and serious aurora in 24 to 36 hours. This close to the equinox the whole planet gets its max bang/buck from auroral events and it could be Showtime.

People continue to take phenomenal photos of comet Pan-STARRS. It's a bright mofo, but so's the sun and so far I haven't been able to make it out in the L.A. Haze with the sky still bright. Still looking. Comets have no effect except to make people act weird, but it's there and pretty spectacular with a long tail and a head that's probably somewhere around first magnitude or greater.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 2:58 pm 
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Quite the boing in the high-energy proton flux overnight. Normal solar wind massive particles are about the same but look at the high end go up. This can be a precursor of a solar wind event and all the aurora and fun stuff.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 7:01 pm 
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Right on schedule, nice boink in all the data streams at 0600 UTC (last night US time), and we've been at the low end of the storm level ever since. Radio is kind of putrid for this time of year, otherwise no ill effects that I know of. Really good aurora in places like Minnesota last night and probably again tonight.

The numbers show a pretty weak event:

# Geophysical Alert Message
#
Solar-terrestrial indices for 17 March follow.
Solar flux 126 and estimated planetary A-index 46.
The estimated planetary K-index at 2100 UTC on 17 March was 6.

Space weather for the past 24 hours has been moderate.
Geomagnetic storms reaching the G2 level occurred.
Solar radiation storms reaching the S1 level occurred.

Space weather for the next 24 hours is predicted to be moderate.
Geomagnetic storms reaching the G2 level are expected.

(as of Sunday, March 17, 2013 2:10:03 PM)

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:26 pm 
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Now? Can I worry now?

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:11 pm 
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No, just go look at all the cool aurora photos people are posting on the net. K index is back to 1, and that's the end of that.

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