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Departing sunspot 1069 is crackling with solar flares, erupting more than half a dozen times on May 8th alone. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) video-recorded each of the explosions with a clarity ten times better than HDTV
On the "Richter scale" of solar flares, the eruption you just witnessed registered C2.4. In years past, solar physicists regarded C-flares as minor events, but SDO is revealing them to be quite spectacular. Here are three more examples from May 8th: C1.8-flare, C9-flare, B7-flare.
This amazing footage comes from an observatory that has been in space for only a few months and is still being commissioned. Mission scientists are so busy calibrating sensors, fine-tuning software and generally getting acquainted with their spacecraft, they barely have time to interpret the torrent of data SDO is sending them. This will change in the weeks ahead as the commissioning phase winds down and the discovery phase revs up. Then the real excitement begins. Stay tuned!
Originally posted by Dynamitrios
Our home star is pretty busy right now it seems. Spring cleanup perhaps.
Updated 2010 May 08 2201 UTC
Joint USAF/NOAA Report of Solar and Geophysical Activity
SDF Number 128 Issued at 2200Z on 08 May 2010
Analysis of Solar Active Regions and Activity from 07/2100Z to 08/2100Z: Solar activity remained at low levels. Region 1069 (N41W78) produced isolated C-class flares as it approached the west limb. The largest of these was a C9/1f at 08/0459Z associated with radio bursts at 245 MHz and 410 MHz. New Region 1071 (S20W42), a small A-type spot, was numbered. No Earth-directed CMEs were observed during the period.
Solar Activity Forecast: Solar activity is expected to be low on day 1 (09 May) with a chance for isolated C-class flares from Region 1069. Activity is expected to decrease to very low levels during days 2 - 3 (10 - 11 May) due to the departure of Region 1069 early on 10 May.
Geophysical Activity Summary 07/2100Z to 08/2100Z: Geomagnetic field activity was at mostly quiet levels. ACE solar wind measurements indicated Earth remained within a gradually subsiding coronal hole high-speed stream. Solar wind velocities decreased from 518 to 437 km/sec during the period. The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit reached high levels during the period.
Geophysical Activity Forecast: Geomagnetic field activity is expected to be at quiet to unsettled levels during days 1 - 2 (09 - 10 May) with a slight chance for active levels. Field activity is expected to increase to unsettled levels on day 3 (11 May) with a chance for active levels due a recurrent co-rotating interaction region/coronal-hole high-speed stream.