Monday, July 16, 2012
Farewell to the AR 1520 CME Aurorae?
The above X-ray image was taken July 16th 12:04 UTC (8:04 AM EDT) by the GOES 15 satellite. The X-ray emissions from AR 1520 and AR 1521 may be seen at the lower right (approaching the sun's western limb). Image Credit: NOAA
Following the July 14th passage of the coronal mass ejection (CME) produced by the sun's Active Region 1520 (AR 1520), the geomagnetic turmoil is beginning to wane. But the evening of July 14th to 15th saw some good aurora activity. In North America alone, aurorae were observed as far south as Oregon, Colorado, Missouri, Utah, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Washington, Illinois, Kansas, South Dakota, Nebraska, Michigan and Arkansas. According to NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center, Earth's geomagnetic field is expected to be at quiet-to-active levels on July 16th, and a to return to predominantly quiet levels is expected for July 17th. Even so, observers should be on the watch for lingering aurorae over the night of July 16th to 15th.
Meanwhile, back on the sun... Activity through July 18th is expected to be at low levels with a 40% chance of M-class solar flares. X-class flares are also possible, but very low, at 15%. Regions AR 1520 and AR 1521 are continuing their rotation toward the sun's western limb. We'll wait and see if they have any more surprises for us before the make their exit. 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: http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ .
To learn more about the sun and to stay current on solar activity, visit the mission home page of the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov .
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