Wednesday, August 08, 2012

August 8th 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 8th at 00:00 UTC. Image Credit: NASA/SDO/HMI

We had several C-class solar flares over August 6th and 7th and one M1-class flare on August 6th (which we previously miss-identified from the GOES 15 data as a C9). And do you remember our "Newcomer" which began making noise on August 6th? It has since been designated Active Region 1542 (AR 1542). But wait! On the northeastern limb we see yet another Newcomer. We will keep an eye on this one to see what it has to offer. What's the solar activity forecast is for the next few days? Low, with a slight chance of an isolated M-class flare.

Let's take a moment to review all of our current Earth-facing Active Regions. Please refer to the above image, taken by the Solar Dynamics Observatory. In the top row we have, from left to right, Newcomer, AR 1537, 1535. In the bottom row, left to right, AR 1542, 1540, 1538 (two sunspots), and 1532 (just on the western limb).

Earth's geomagnetic field is expected to be quiet to unsettled with a slight chance of active to minor polar magnetic storms on August 8th and 9th. This increase in activity is expected sometime between mid-day on the 8th to early on the 9th due to the arrival of the August 4th coronal mass ejection (CME). On the 10th the activity is expected to return to quiet levels as the effects of the CME 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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