Thursday, September 06, 2012
Sept 6th, Maybe an M-Class Flare...
For the end of September 4th and most of the 5th, the solar activity was low. Active Region 1564 (AR 15464) produced occasional C-class solar flares including a C6 flare on the 5th at 03:47 UTC and a C7 flare at 08:06 UTC, neither of which were associated with significant radio emission. AR 1564 showed gradual sunspot and penumbral decay during the period, but retained a beta-gamma configuration due to polarity mixing in the vicinity of its intermediate spots. AR 1560 showed minor sunspot loss in its trailer portion during the period. It retained a change within its intermediate sunspots, but the change appeared to be dissipating. The remaining spotted region were unremarkable. No new regions were designated and Earth-directed coronal mass ejections (CMEs) occurred during the period. The forecast through September 8th: The solar activity is expected to be low, with a chance for an isolated M-class flare during the 6th and 7th.
Above Earth, the geomagnetic field activity ranged from quiet to major storm levels with a brief period of severe storm levels at high latitudes. An interplanetary shock passed the Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) spacecraft on the 4th at 22:03 UTC, indicating the arrival of the CMEs observed on the 2nd. Field activity increased to major storm levels during the 5th over 00:00 UTC to 03:00 UTC following the shock, then decreased to minor storm levels during 03:00 UTC to 06:00 UTC. A further decrease to active levels occurred during 06:00 UTC to 09:00 UTC. Quiet to unsettled levels occurred during the rest of the period with active to minor storm levels detected at high latitudes. The forecast through September 8th: The geomagnetic field activity is expected to be at quiet to unsettled levels with a chance for active levels on the 6th due to possible weak coronal hole high-speed stream effects. 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).