Thursday, August 16, 2012

August 16th, Sun-Earth Forecast

The above image is a Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI) Continuum image from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). The image was taken August 16th at 03:00 UTC. The most obvious feature in visible light is Active Region 1543 (AR 1543), seen at upper right. Image Credit: NASA/SDO/HMI

Our Sun's activity in the last 24 hours has been low. The greatest activity on August 15th was a B8-class flare at 08:46 UTC. In the forecast, solar activity is expected to range from very low to low over August 16th through 18th.

Aside from the possibilities of solar flares and CMEs, a solar wind stream is flowing from a coronal hole currently located just east of center on the face of the Sun. As the Sun's rotation brings the coronal hole into alignment with Earth, it should reach Earth around August 19th/20th.

On Earth, the geomagnetic field is expected to range from quiet to unsettled with a slight chance for active conditions on August 16th due to effects from the August 13th coronal mass ejection (CME) produced by Active Region 1543 (AR 1543). On August 17th, unsettled to active levels are expected with a slight chance for minor storm conditions due to effects from the August 14th CME, also produced by AR 1543. On August 18th quiet to unsettled levels are expected with a slight chance for active conditions as effects of the CME begin to subside.

To monitor solar flare activity minute by minute, visit the "Today's Space Weather" page of NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center, URL: www.swpc.noaa.gov .

To learn more about the Sun and to stay current on solar activity, visit the mission home pages of the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov and the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov .

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