Saturday, September 01, 2012

Now That's a CME!

The above image was taken August 31st at 19:49:00 UTC by the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA), at 304 Angstroms, aboard the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). This was four minutes after SDO/AIA first confirmed the coronal mass ejection (CME) stretching out from the southeastern portion of the sun's disc. Image Credit: SDO/AIA

For the end of August 30h and most of the 31st, the solar activity was low. Active Region 1560, 1563 and newly numbered 1564 (which just rotated around the east limb) each produced low-level C-class flares. AR 1560 grew in area and became more magnetically complex, with a beta-gamma magnetic configuration. Late on the 31st, things got interesting. At 19:45 UTC, coronal mass ejection (CME) was first observed by the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA), at 304 Angstroms, aboard the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). Later, at 20:43 UTC, there was observed a C8 solar flare associated with a large filament eruption. This eruption was associated with a Type II (estimated speed 515 km/s) and Type IV radio sweeps. Further evaluation of the CME is expected from SOHO's LASCO instruments. The forecast through September 3rd: The solar activity level is expected to be low with a chance for moderate activity.

Above Earth, the geomagnetic field was quiet. The forecast through September 3rd: The geomagnetic field is expected to remain quiet. 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/today.html).

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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