Tuesday, August 21, 2012

August 21st, Sol Relatively Quiet...

The above X-ray image of the sun was taken August 21st at 03:56 UTC by the Solar X-ray Imager (SXI) aboard the GOES-15 satellite. Image Credit: NOAA

The Sun's activity was very low for August 19th and 20th. The most noise was generated by departing Active Region 1543 (AR 1543), with a B8 solar flare on the 19th at 23:15 UTC, off the northwest limb. AR 1548 also produced a low level B-class flare. Also on the 19th, at 19:18 UTC,  a full halo coronal mass ejection (CME) was observed in SOHO/LASCO C3 coronagraph, with an estimated plane-of-sky speed
of 605 km/s. STEREO-A and STEREO-B COR2 imagery shows this CME to be a back-sided event, not expected to affect Earth. Forecast through the 23rd: Solar activity should range from very low to low with a slight chance for an M-class flare.

Above Earth, the geophysical activity has ranged from quiet to unsettled with an isolated period of activity between the 19th at 21:00 and the 20th at 00:00 UTC. Forecast: The geomagnetic field is expected to range from quiet to unsettled with a slight chance for active conditions on the 21st and 22nd, due to that coronal hole high-speed stream. On the 23rd, conditions are expected to return to predominately quiet levels. Stay tuned...

To monitor solar flare activity minute by minute, visit the "Today's Space Weather" page of NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center (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), the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) (sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov), the Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) (www.srl.caltech.edu/ACE), and the Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) (stereo.gsfc.nasa.gov).


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