On August 6th, at about 00:30 UTC, the GOES 15 satellite registered a C5-class X-ray flare. Orbiting observatories showed that the flare came from the very edge of the sun's eastern limb. This means that a newcomer region, which doesn't even have a designation yet, has announced itself! The great site, www.helioviewer.org , posted to YouTube a video of the flare. It used the images from the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA), at 131 Angstroms, aboard the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQz6Q_6B3h4 .
Back at Earth, the geomagnetic field is expected to be mostly quiet for August 6th and 7th. And on August 8th there is a forecast of active conditions are forecast due to an anticipated glancing blow from the passing coronal mass ejection (CME) which erupted on August 4th.
Forecasters had estimated some chance for M-class flares in the coming days, but that was before the arrival of our noisy Newcomer. Things are sure to get more interesting in the coming days. Stay tuned...
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 .