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#1155584 - 06/01/2013 10:10 Re: Solar Watch - Spaceweather 2011 - 2013 [Re: Gazr]
SunnyDays Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 30/01/2011
Posts: 1464
Loc: Oxley Brisbane Qld
Howdy Gazr,

There is a fair amount of confusion regarding the Solar Max your right, the reason is because we humans simply do not know enough about the Sun for it to be 100% clear cut. We can only attempt from past records to calculate upcoming turn of events to a degree. The Sun has a mind of it's own and simply cannot ever be predicted.

It is when you compare this Solar cycle and what has already occurred, to prior cycles can you attempt to see if it has peaked or not, law of averages or something like that. No one can really say 100% when the peak will be even until we look at a graph to see the turn in the curve. Plus of course because we know the cycles are roughly 11 years spaced out looking back at old data. Hence all the guesstimation I call it crazy

I remember reading a scientific brief many moons ago that basically stated we probably really only understand 10% about the Sun, But I like to think with all our new space gadgetry the experts are getting better at it smile


On NASA news they posted an image of the above eruption with Earth superimposed to give you a better understanding of the size of it, although a minor eruption it still looks huge smile

click here http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sdo/news/solar-ballet2.html




Have a lovely Sunday
SDx
_________________________
________________________________________
Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain smile

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#1156047 - 08/01/2013 00:46 Re: Solar Watch - Spaceweather 2011 - 2013 [Re: SunnyDays]
Gazr Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 16/02/2005
Posts: 117
Loc: East Perth WA
Thanks SunnyDays, it sure is interesting stuff and so much we're still learning. That photo really shows how little we are in the scheme of things/nature.

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#1156818 - 09/01/2013 17:54 Re: Solar Watch - Spaceweather 2011 - 2013 [Re: Gazr]
petethemoskeet Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 13/08/2003
Posts: 1085
Loc: bribie island
Apophis will pass by Earth at a distance of 5 earth diameters tomorrow(pretty bloody close in astronomical terms) and will not pass by again until 2029 with a possible impact in 2036.

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#1157797 - 12/01/2013 11:05 Re: Solar Watch - Spaceweather 2011 - 2013 [Re: petethemoskeet]
SunnyDays Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 30/01/2011
Posts: 1464
Loc: Oxley Brisbane Qld
Sorry about only getting back to your comment now Pete - admittedly I forgot Apophis was coming by smile I have been working on my website day and night and when I'm like a women possessed I lose all track of time. But you are right, it is close by astronomical terms. From this passing they are hoping to get a more accurate trajectory for 2029 and 2036. From what I can gather it got down to a 1 in 45 (or even less than that) chance of hitting Earth at one stage in 2036. NASA called on astronomers for help to gather photos so they could get a better understanding of it's shape etc which in turns gives them a better understanding of it's path. It will be interesting to read what comes out of this recent flyby and observations made by many.


Solar Update

In the last couple of days you would almost be inclined to think the Sun has awoken... currently the Sun has many active regions on the Solar disc. Ten all up there at one stage as shown below on Jan 9 (from left-right Jan 9, Jan 10 and Jan 11 today UTC time). But many of these active regions are quiet and producing very little Solar flare activity. Currently the Sunspot number is 145.

You can see on the images below the progression of large Sunspot AR1654. This Sunspot is very active and has been producing many C-Class flares and our second M-Class flare for the year. There was a M1.7-Class Solar flare back on Jan 5 from an un-numbered region in the same area - most likely AR1654 before it rotated onto the Solar disc.




As you can see from the GOES Xray Flux - the background radiation level (blue) is elevated, a little over the place, and with over a 50% chance of more M-Class flares forecasted, I would think that is about right



The M1.2-Class Solar flare was a moderate impulsive flare that did produce a Coronal Mass Ejection or CME - which may have some components that will brush past Earth's magnetosphere in the coming days.
I did note proton levels were elevated a little and are now only 6.5protons/cm3 - windspeed is ever so slowing increasing - 380km/sec at the moment.

Image is of the M1.2-Class Solar flare (with an insert of EVE in the corner showing the bright flash of the Solar flare)


As AR1654 rotates further around the Solar disc and faces Earth squarely on, any more large Solar flares producing CME's will inevitably mean a direct hit on Earth. It is interesting to note big AR1654 is nearer the Sun's equator which means more of the Solar winds from any CME produced hits our Earth's magnetosphere more square on, and at times with more force. Generally speaking when active regions are located more in the northern hemisphere or southern hemisphere, the Solar winds from a CME are directed more north or south of Earth (think of the size of Earth compared to the Sun). There are other factors that come into play as well of course, which I won't go into now.



Active region AR1654 is still growing, it has a beta-gamma magnetic class which harbors energy to produce M-Class flares - it's size is presently 770 in area. Currently within this active region there are 21 sunspots. Active regions are essentially made up from many sunspots. Looking back up to the three images of the Solar disc, find AR1652 it is smaller in area, only 230 but has more sunspots - it has 29 presently.

Image below is AR1654 up close.




Solarwatcher has put out a video of the imagery from the M1.2-Class flare (music by "Follow Kimiko" by Rick Horrocks RH Soundtracks)
Stunning as always smile





Otherwise stay tuned, hopefully we will have more solar flares and great imagery to observe.
Have a wonderful weekend, stay cool the heat is such a bother now. We need rain!

SDx



Edited by SunnyDays (12/01/2013 11:06)
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#1157862 - 12/01/2013 13:43 Re: Solar Watch - Spaceweather 2011 - 2013 [Re: SunnyDays]
Gazr Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 16/02/2005
Posts: 117
Loc: East Perth WA
Ahhh...looks like we could finally have some interesting days ahead.

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#1158767 - 15/01/2013 13:04 Re: Solar Watch - Spaceweather 2011 - 2013 [Re: Gazr]
duckweather Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 20/12/2010
Posts: 1819
Loc: Wantirna, Vic
Not sure if SunnyDays has posted this or made any reference to it yet, because I have been busy and thought I'd, in passing, jot this link for you;
Moderate to high solar activity with possible geomagnetic disturbances
This article is dated 14th January 2013.
Cheers, Duck.

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#1158827 - 15/01/2013 18:00 Re: Solar Watch - Spaceweather 2011 - 2013 [Re: duckweather]
SunnyDays Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 30/01/2011
Posts: 1464
Loc: Oxley Brisbane Qld
Howdy folks...

There certianly are Duckweather... but they are quite mild disturbances.

Earth was in a fairly fast moving Solar wind stream overnight - last night and yesterday our time - which sparked geomagnetic storming in the higher latitudes, however looks to be subsiding somewhat. Currently winds are 482km/sec but have dropped from the low 500km/sec which it registered early. Whilst the pressure wasn't too strong Auroras have still been sighted and may continue for the next 24-48 hours

Peter Rosén sends this picture from Kiruna in the Swedish Lapland:





Big sunspot 1654 is poised to strike it has been cracking with C and M Class solar flares (60% more chance of M-Class flares)

Here is a video from yesterday you will see the bright flashes are Solar flares, and are quite constant.

Click this link to view the video below is just an image - AR1654 fireworks smile






Here is the latest view of the Sun and AR1654 looks like it is joining forces with AR1656. AR1654 is now at a size of 920 millionths. These two sunspots are so large side by side they can be quite easily photographed by backyard cameras with special fitted solar lenses when the Sun is dimmed by clouds/mist or smokey skies. (don't ever look at the sun with out protective solar lenses) Both AR1654 and AR1652 harbour energy for M-Class flares (beta-gamma)







Actually this is really cool and must give it a mention - yeah Brisbane photographer. And a nice photo too smile

Quote:
Amateur astronomers with backyard solar telescopes are encouraged to monitor in the days ahead. AR1654 is not only crackling, but also growing. As of Jan 12th, the behemoth stretches more than 180,000 km (14 Earth diameters) from end to end. Dennis Simmons sends this picture of the behemoth from Brisbane, Australia:


Quote:
"Although the air was milky from nearby bush fires burning north of Brisbane, the seeing turned out to be good enough for a high-resolution shot," says Simmons. "I dedicate this image to the brave Australian fire fighters, working in horrendous, hot and windy conditions whilst fighting fires burning out of control across the south-east states of our country. I salute your selfless courage."




Wow and something that just caught my eye - fantastic snapshot of a large prominence eruption that occurred on the 6 January 2013





The Sun celebrated the new year by ejecting at least six 'eruptive prominences' over 8 days (Jan. 1-8, 2013) to start off the year. Captured by STEREO Behind spacecraft in extreme UV light, the below video shows numerous active regions. As the STEREO spacecraft continue to recede from Earth, the rate at which the spacecraft can transmit the data back to earth decreases. In some wavelengths, each spacecraft obtains only one image every two hours, which is why the motion of the movie is somewhat jerky.

Below is the video of that period showing all 6 prominence eruptions - hope they work they will download and you will be able to watch them. Here is the back up link to the page on STEREO just incase (look for the links - 8days_304_best.mov under image) link to STEREO

small image video Click Here
larger image video Click Here


Well must fly like a bird... things to do smile
Have a lovely evening and I shall keep you updated of anything exciting.

Cheers
SDx
_________________________
________________________________________
Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain smile

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#1162311 - 22/01/2013 15:41 Re: Solar Watch - Spaceweather 2011 - 2013 [Re: SunnyDays]
SunnyDays Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 30/01/2011
Posts: 1464
Loc: Oxley Brisbane Qld
Much appreciated and what a good idea to have a General Science area smile

I went camping at Mt Barney Lodge over the weekend and hence I was not able to provide any further updates on big old Sunspot AR1654. Mt Barney Lodge is so beautiful and I highly recommend it if you want a place to camp in clean campgrounds with amazing views with its own creek. Only downside - it was stinking hot, not sure what possessed my husband and I to go camping in 35°C plus weather. Thankfully their natural rock pool was cool and refreshing under the shade of tall trees and giant boulders. The evenings were stunning under all the stars and cooler breezes. The literal view from our camper trailer was Mt Barney itself... loved it!


It appears no further M-Class flares were produced by AR1654. It has since decayed considerably and is not far off from exiting the Solar disc and poses no further threat. The solar disc is currently quiet with only 3 Active regions numbered being AR1660, AR1658 and AR1654. Total sunspot number is 48.





So whilst there is not a lot happening with Sunspots lets survey the Sun's surface instead for prominences and filaments. And when we do so there is quite a hive of activity.

Below are links to a movies I created from Helioviewer - http://helioviewer.org/
Be patient for the images to load


This first link is of the Sun's North Eastern limb (top left as we view it) it shows AR1647 turning onto the Solar disc. Beautiful prominences rising up beside it. And you will note one darker line which is a filament stretching along the surface pointing between AR1647 and the prominence.

http://helioviewer.org/?movieId=ZZg55

This highlights what to look for in the video link above





Here is what I thought originally to be a Solar Tornado but I'm not quite sure - image is taken from the Northern Western limb of the Sun and a fraction in from the edge (top right as we view it). I need to create a longer video I think to capture it's creation and imagery over the next couple of hours.

http://helioviewer.org/?movieId=5mg55

Edit: Yes am inclined to now think this is imagery of a un-organised solar tornado - will still load a better movie tomorrow for you.


Looking at the South Eastern limb (bottom left as we view it) we see two large prominence's rising up. Bit hard to tell from the angle - the right one looks like the edge of a filament.

http://helioviewer.org/?movieId=jmg55

Here they are again a little closer in a larger image with the movie running slower
http://helioviewer.org/?movieId=Qmg55

Edit: I am inclined to think they are edges or ends of the filaments rising up.


And this is special and hot off the press it shows a little visitor scooting past the Sun, I have no idea what it is wink

Make sure when you open the link to look for a little square box symbol, next to the time and speaker symbol to enlarge the image to full screen to view the movie (just like you would for youtube)

http://helioviewer.org/?movieId=sZg55

Try your hardest to pause the movie at exactly 1:11:32, takes a little stuffing around but you will get it. With the larger full screen image you can see the shape of the visitor a little better against the back drop of the Sun. It is not a planet they do not travel vertically against the Sun and I am not certain of any sungrazing comets in the area (I don't have time to go hunting for info) and it is not an artifact HUMMMM I will await to see if NASA respond or from other reputable solar forums where I know the images have been captured already.


This is the little visitor paused in a single frame at exactly 2013-01-21 01:11:32



Have a play around with Helioviewer, I think you will have more fun in capturing your own images and movies similar to that from the SOHO site I showed you a little while ago. Helioviewer is better as you can cut and crop how close an image you would like of the Sun's surface.

On the home page

Under Time
Date: Is the observation date and you will need to change this to go back days or months
Time-step: Is how long in hours or days you want the movie to capture

Under Images
Observatory: Is what spacecraft you are viewing the Sun from - mine are from SDO
Measurment: Are images of the solar atmosphere at several wavelengths, and therefore, shows solar material at different temperatures.
Keep instrument at AIA

Top right corner of image

Movie: If you select an area it gives you the opportunity to crop the image
Once you crop the image your next prompt is to select the duration in hours of how long the movie is to capture... at this point you will note a little 'settings' symbol next to the question mark it changes the speed of the movie.


See how you go... any question feel free to fire away. This link is quite good and has tutorials I believe http://jhelioviewer.org/



Well I must go... off to do some domestics! Might have a DVD night tonight.

Take care all
SDx


Edited by SunnyDays (22/01/2013 15:49)
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Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain smile

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#1164923 - 24/01/2013 22:16 Re: Solar Watch - Spaceweather 2011 - 2013 [Re: SunnyDays]
SunnyDays Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 30/01/2011
Posts: 1464
Loc: Oxley Brisbane Qld
Good Evening smile


In between getting excited about the rain I have been studying as I do on occasions the Sun and Coronal Seismology. You maybe thinking what is Coronal Seismology?

Coronoal Seismology in laymen is the study of plasma on the Sun's corona (surface) with the use of magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) waves and oscillations. It is the merging of theory and observations with the aim of producing a detailed knowledge of physical parameters in the corona. Studying and understanding these structures of Solar plasma that occur such as for example Coronal loops or Prominence's.


Lets have a brief look at Coronal Loops


For the first 52 seconds of this video captured by NASA's SDO spacecraft you will note beautiful shimmering Coronal loops on the right hand side of the Sun as we view it. It shows Coronal loops rising up and interacting between sunspots from AR1515 as it exited the Solar disc back in July 2012. The Sun is being viewed in wavelength AIA 171 Angstrom which observes the Sun in a quieter less busy fashion and is the best wavelength to view Coronal loops. The heat in which this wavelength measures the Sun's surface is 600,000 Kelvins (very dam hot).




If you are interested in a quick scientific read on Coronal Seismology here is a link to the Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society article on the subject, one that I could find quickly at least for you to read smile http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/363/1837/2743.full



Here is a really good link on viewing the Sun in different wavelengths and what it all means (hover your cursor over the images of the Sun in the black square at the bottom of the page, more info will pop up) http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sunearth/news/light-wavelengths.html

Awesome image below smile






From my prior post....

If we skip back to my last post it is interesting to note the filament I had my eye on initially and shared with you in the very first movie erupted in spectacular fashion today. Between the two movies you can see how viewing the one structure in varying wavelengths can have such a defined difference in appearance.

Here is the filament eruption which is viewed in AIA 304 Angstrom http://helioviewer.org/?movieId=XWx55

Here is that same filament in AIA 193 Angstrom http://helioviewer.org/?movieId=tXx55




If is also a slight buzz for me to note the third movie I shared with you where I was not certain if the plasma structures were a prominence or a filament, I was right... they were filaments and they too erupted in amazing fashion and Spaceweather.com are featuring the event today. The eruption was powerful enough to release an CME than passed in front of the planet Mercury. The CME produced will not affect Earth in any way.

Here is the animated movie of the filament erupting from the surface of the Corona


Here is the animated movie of the CME erupting from the Sun in front of Mercury





I still have not found out any info of the little visitor that zoomed past the Sun at break neck speed. I'm not hinting it is an alien as it is probably a comet but than you just never know... it is a large very beautiful universe we live in wink



In closing it is interesting to note there is a very large coronal hole on the Sun's surface in the Southern Hemisphere. Solar winds are expected to reach Earth Jan 26-27 and would not be surprised if there is a sizable earth quake.

Here is a quick youtube clip of the Sun rotating around showing the coronal hole presently dominating the Southern half of the Sun http://youtu.be/YwV0Ah0dPvg it is quite a good movie of it smile



Well good night, sweet dreams.
And I will Endeavour to bring you some more fascinating facts on the Sun
_________________________
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Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain smile

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#1171549 - 11/02/2013 20:40 Re: Solar Watch - Spaceweather 2011 - 2013 [Re: SunnyDays]
GDL Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 17/02/2008
Posts: 627
Loc: Bowen Mountain NSW
All seems very very quiet Sunny day. .....GDL

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#1171895 - 13/02/2013 22:15 Re: Solar Watch - Spaceweather 2011 - 2013 [Re: GDL]
SunnyDays Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 30/01/2011
Posts: 1464
Loc: Oxley Brisbane Qld
Howdy GDL.... must warn you, I've enjoyed a good fishbowl sized glass of red (Cabernet Merlot) grin

Solarwatch


I have been very busy building websites day and night as I am no longer employed and must admit for the first time in a long time I haven't even been paying attention to the Sun everyday! Just every 3rd day smile if I go too long I get withdrawal symptoms - plus you cannot really stop observing her for too long, not this close to Solar maximum. I apologise for my absenteeism and must admit I have missed you all. I will also admit with that Ex Oswald event I hit a weather brick wall. I'm still dealing with the damage and getting insurance quotes etc RRrrrrr.

Since my last post the Sun has experienced a couple of beautiful filament eruptions, which I will share in a moment and some large deep coronal holes.

You may find this video from Solarwatcher interesting of his analysis of the Sun's activity preceeding the large Earthquake experienced in Santa Cruz Islands






Actually I have just realised 2012 DA14 asteroid is due by on Friday and it is Valentines day tomorrow!

January 31st
I will jump back to this day to quickly show you this beautiful filament eruption featured on Spaceweather.com

If you Click Here and scroll down to view the movie titled 'erupting magnetic filament' clicking on the image as shown below - you will see the eruption - quite spectacular.





February 6
A moderate C8.7 flare was reported on this day which caused a CME with Earth bound components.

For this filament eruption I will share with you Solarwatcher's video as he always captures such beautiful imagery.
Music Used Is 'Mainframe Disturbance' by Frederik Wiedmann



Actually here is the link to the full soundtrack - quite awesome on loud http://youtu.be/H_zf342nD_E


Sunspot numbers for the last fortnight have been very minimal averaging around 60ish and the Windspeed has fluctuated due to the arrival of Solar winds from the Coronal holes causing some mild to moderate geomagnetic storming.

Such a lovely image taken by Chad Blakely back on 11 February from Sweden's Abisko National Park.




Close Flyby Asteroid 2012 DA14

Here is a video from NASA on 2012 DA14



Here is a link to the full story http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2013/28jan_2012da/

I'm not worried hope you aren't, Earth will be OK as NASA have stated so... although the Pope resigned this week so I guess really anything could happen haha just kidding wink I will have a hunt around to see if there will be any live streaming of the event. Although I'm inclined to think maybe not.


The Sun presently is quiet with only four numbered active regions that are all quite small in area and producing not much more than a high level B-Class Solar flare. I shall keep you updated of any major developments but presently our Sun behaves.

Stay tuned for my next more sober update.

Take care an have a lovely Thursday, hope you feel the love of Valentines Day from that someone special... I'm sending all my love and madness xoxoxo

SD
_________________________
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Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain smile

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#1172028 - 14/02/2013 17:19 Re: Solar Watch - Spaceweather 2011 - 2013 [Re: SunnyDays]
GDL Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 17/02/2008
Posts: 627
Loc: Bowen Mountain NSW
Hi Sunny Days,hope you made it out it of the fish bowl ok.Thanks for the update and a special thanks for the link to the music. .............GDL

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#1172127 - 14/02/2013 23:19 Re: Solar Watch - Spaceweather 2011 - 2013 [Re: GDL]
SunnyDays Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 30/01/2011
Posts: 1464
Loc: Oxley Brisbane Qld
You make me giggle GDL... yes I made it out of my fish bowl, only just smile I was feeling a little green around the gills shall we say this morning though. I get so creative on red wine lately, outside of feeling really merry like I could love the world or something LOL.

I love to chill my reds it changes the flavour to be more peppery (has to be a cab merlot though) also makes it more palatable on hotter days.

Nothing to report on the Sun tonight, but this photo is simply beautiful. Image taken by Frank S. Andreassen from Harstad, Norway:




Asteroid 2012 DA14

There will be live stream video from NASA of the asteroid - which will hopefully be quite an incredible site!

Here is the link http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2013/feb/HQ_M13-031_Asteroid_Flyby_Coverage.html

Quote:
At the time of its closest approach to Earth at approximately 2:25 p.m. EST (11:25 a.m. PST/ 19:25 UTC), the asteroid will be about 17,150 miles (27,600 kilometers) above Earth's surface.

The commentary will be available via NASA TV and streamed live online at:

http://www.nasa.gov/ntv


and


http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl2


In addition to the commentary, near real-time imagery of the asteroid's flyby before and after closest approach, made available to NASA by astronomers in Australia and Europe, weather permitting, will be streamed beginning at about noon EST (9 a.m. PST) and continuing through the afternoon at the following website:

http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl2


A Ustream feed of the flyby from a telescope at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., will be streamed for three hours starting at 9 p.m. EST (8 p.m. CST). To view the feed and ask researchers questions about the flyby via Twitter, visit:

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nasa-msfc


The NASA Near Earth Objects (NEO) Program at the agency's headquarters in Washington, manages and funds the search, study, and monitoring of NEOs, or asteroids and comets, whose orbits periodically bring them close to the Earth. NASA's study of NEOs provides important clues to understanding the origin of our solar system. The objects also are a repository of natural resources and could become waystations for future exploration. In collaboration with other external organizations, one of the program's key goals is to search and hopefully mitigate potential NEO impacts on Earth. JPL conducts the NEO program's technical and scientific activities.

For more information, including graphics and animations showing the flyby of 2012 DA14, visit:

www.nasa.gov/asteroidflyby


For more information about asteroids and near-Earth objects, visit:

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/asteroidwatch






Here is a track map for the sky from - http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2013/02/13/3688782.htm




So early Saturday morning by the looks of it.
Well off I go to get my beauty sleep.
Night folks.
SDx
_________________________
________________________________________
Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain smile

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#1173227 - 18/02/2013 12:06 Re: Solar Watch - Spaceweather 2011 - 2013 [Re: SunnyDays]
SunnyDays Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 30/01/2011
Posts: 1464
Loc: Oxley Brisbane Qld
Solar Update


Morning smile

We had a bit of action on the Sun overnight. A newly formed and rapidly growing active region 1675 unleashed a very impulsive M1.9 Class Solar flare last night. It was the most intense solar flare for this year thus far as a double flash of extreme UV radiation was recorded from the explosion.

Here is an image of the Solar flare and the bright flash





Prominence Eruption


Along with the solar flare was a rather large prominence eruption in the Southern hemisphere of the Sun (right lower corner as we view it). The prominence eruption did produce a powerful CME but it is not at all Earth directed.

Here is a quick video of the prominence erupting - I love how they rise up and hover over the Sun's surface before taking off

Prominence Eruption Video - http://delphi.nascom.nasa.gov/?movieId=TR995


Coronal Hole

The below imagery shows a very long deep in places, dark coronal hole snaking along the southern hemisphere of the Sun right up to the centre almost (I would not be surprised if a powerful earthquake is experienced in the coming fortnight again) Solar winds from this coronal hole should be expected to impact Earth's magnetosphere from around the 21st February creating moderate geomagnetic storming.




Otherwise all is well, sunspot count is currently only 75 still quite low in the scheme of things. There is a 15% further chance of another M-Class flare in the next 24-48 hours.


I shall keep you posted as I have my eye on a large filament in the southern hemisphere you can just see it in the image above of the coronal hole. The filament is the really thin narrow line above the coronal hole stretching from the edge of the Sun near the brightness of active regions that are turning onto the Solar disc (left hand side of the Sun as we view it).


Have a good day and good luck with this low developing that you don't experience any damage from wind or the huge rainfall expected.

Cheers
SDx
_________________________
________________________________________
Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain smile

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#1173776 - 20/02/2013 09:33 Re: Solar Watch - Spaceweather 2011 - 2013 [Re: SunnyDays]
SunnyDays Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 30/01/2011
Posts: 1464
Loc: Oxley Brisbane Qld
Solar Update

Morning All,

We have a very rapid growing Sunspot active region on the Sun. It is AR1678, a couple of days ago it was not there but now is 3 times the size of Earth. As it is rapidly changing and exhibiting erratic bahavour the magnetic field is likely unstable. A reconnection event in AR1678 magnetic canopy could lead to an significant solar flare.
Below is an animated view of AR1678




Below is a visual of the large coronal hole (plus a very large filament I've been observing hopefully due to erupt any moment) and the six active regions that are presently on the Sun.




There is some activity on the Sun in the top north western side.





Comet Flybys for 2013



Now for something special - 2013 heralds a year of some very special comet approaches as there will be several.

Comet LEMMON

I do apologise I did not alert you to Comet LEMMON which is now receding slowing away from Earth on it's approach to the Sun, but should remain just above the naked eye limit for some time as it continues to approach the sun. After looping around the sun on March 24, the comet will pop back into the morning sky near the familiar Square of Pegasus asterism in early May. If we’re lucky, Lemmon may still be near the naked eye limit and visible in ordinary binoculars.

Here are the orbital elements of Comet LEMMON Orbital Elements of Comet LEMMON C/2012 F6


Here is an image of comet LEMMON taken by Peter Ward




Comet Pan-STARRS


The second comet due shortly is Comet Pan-Starrs which is hoped will be viewed with the naked eye.

Comet Pan-Starrs is due in early March. The below image was taken recently of Comet Pan-Starrs is taken by Ignacio Diaz Bobillo from Buenos Aires, Argentina and was taken with a small telescope with an exposure time of 8x2minutes.




Comet Pan-STARRS was discovered in June 2011 by the Panoramic Survey Telescope & Rapid Response System atop the Haleakala volcano in Hawaii and was named after the acronym the telescope. It is headed towards Earth from the Oort Cloud far off in the distance of our Solar system. Being a new comet it is hoped that with its fresh approach to the Sun for the very first time will mean it has a lot of extra gases, frozen material, dust particles etc to create a long and bright tale.

Here is a video from Science@NASA




Here is a link to the 3D orbit from JPL Comet Pan-Starrs 3D orbit on JPL

Here is a link to the ephemeris for Pan-Starrs Orbital elements on Minor Planet Counter

Here is a link to the Light curves expected

Here is the full story on NASA A Possible Naked-Eye Comet in March


Key Dates to observe

Below is an image of key dates from where the comet will emerge in the western sunset sky not far from the crescent moon in a Twilight sky. March 12th and March 13th are the best days




Other key dates are March 5th when the comet is closet to Earth (100 million miles) and March 10th when the comet is closet to the Sun.

Comet ISON and Comet Encke

The video above from NASA makes a brief mention on Comet ISON which is the third comet I would like to share as it is going to be spectacular and already dubbed the Comet of the century. Comet ISON belongs to a special category of comets called sungrazers. As the comet performs a hairpin turn around the sun on 28 November 2013, its ices will vaporize furiously in the intense solar heat. Assuming it defies death by evaporation, ISON is expected to become a brilliant object perhaps 10 times brighter than Venus. Or brighter. Some predict it could put the full moon to shame. If so, that would occur for a brief time around at perihelion (closest approach to the sun) when the comet would only be visible in the daytime sky very close to the sun.

Than within 7 days we will see Comet 2P/Encke named after a German astronomer Johann Encke. It will be making it's 62 visit or return to Earth's vicinity.


I will leave it there for now as I have to head out but will write more on Comet ISON and Encke shortly. I will start a thread on comet Pan-Starrs so we can share information and hopefully get some great images. Lets hope the Comet survives its close encounter with the Sun and gives us a visual spectacle like no other.


Cheers SD
X







Edited by SunnyDays (20/02/2013 09:35)
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#1173955 - 20/02/2013 20:43 Re: Solar Watch - Spaceweather 2011 - 2013 [Re: SunnyDays]
GDL Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 17/02/2008
Posts: 627
Loc: Bowen Mountain NSW
Cant wait Sunny Day,March will be most interesting me thinks. ......GDL

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#1174473 - 22/02/2013 07:48 Re: Solar Watch - Spaceweather 2011 - 2013 [Re: SunnyDays]
Rorschach Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 10/02/2007
Posts: 3770
A largish sunspot has just formed. Appears to be a large active region too

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sdo/news/fastgrowing-sunspot.html
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“No. Not even in the face of Armageddon. Never compromise” ...

And this of course applies to scientific principles. Never compromise these. Never! [Follow the science and you will be shown correct in the end...]

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#1174708 - 22/02/2013 17:44 Re: Solar Watch - Spaceweather 2011 - 2013 [Re: SunnyDays]
SunnyDays Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 30/01/2011
Posts: 1464
Loc: Oxley Brisbane Qld
Solar Update

Hi Arnost that is AR1678 which I spoke of in my prior post... and what an impressive image on the link to NASA's news you provided, incredible to think it grew from nothing into something 6 times wider than Earth in 48 hours. Proves the Sun is extremely unpredictable. Just wish it would wake up more lately.

The sunspot active region 1678 has just developed a beta-gamma-delta magnetic complexity that harbors energy to produce X-Class flares. Currently there is a 45% chance of more M-Class flares and 15% chance of X-Class flares in the next 24 hours. If there were any strong Solar flares producing CME's they would not impact Earth as the active region is not fare off exiting the Solar disc.


Quick update on Comet LEMMON





Quote:
"Comet Lemmon has a beautiful tail with lovely fine structure," says Phil Hart of Lake Eppalock, Victoria, Australia, who photographed it on Feb. 17th.

The comet is now slightly closer to the sun than Earth. Solar heating has turned it into a binocular object (magnitude +5.5 to +6) barely visible to the human eye, but dazzling through backyard telescopes, as shown in Hart's photo above.

Comet Lemmon's verdant color comes from two of the gases boiling off its nucleus: cyanogen (CN: a poisonous gas found in many comets) and diatomic carbon (C2). Both substances glow green when illuminated by sunlight in the near-vacuum of space.

The combination of its colorful atmosphere and filamentary tail make this comet visually striking. Ultimately, Comet Pan-STARRS and especially Comet ISON could surpass it, but for now the most beautiful comet in the solar system appears to be a green Lemmon.



Here is the link to comet LEMMON's 3D orbit JPL Orbit Diagram

Here is the link to comet LEMMON's ephemeris Elements & Ephemeris for C/2012 F6 Lemmon

Here is the link to comet LEMMON's light curves http://www.aerith.net/comet/catalog/2012F6/2012F6.html



Commet ISON


Just a quick introduction to Comet ISON as we have tonnes of time to get ready for it's arrival in November this year.

Here is a Science at NASA video of Comet ISON - Dubbed Comet of the Century




Now whilst in the video it states the comet will cross directly over the north pole and speaks of those in the Northern hemisphere being well placed to see it - please note we will be able to see it here in Australia. It will be a whole world spectacle if it does not fizzle.

It will be visible in the northern and southern hemispheres for at least two months, from November 2013 to January 2014. On 29 November 2013 (Australian time), Comet ISON will pass just 1.2 million kilometres from the Sun. From Earth, ISON will be about one degree from the Sun. The comet will be visible low in the east before sunrise in the week or two before closest approach to the Sun (known as perihelion). If the comet grows a visible tail, it should be pointing upwards, away from the rising Sun.

After perihelion as it moves towards Earth we will not see much from the southern hemisphere. In the evenings the comet will set before the Sun and in the mornings it will rise with the Sun.

Assuming the comet does not fade away (as Comet Elenin did in August 2011), the best chance to see Comet ISON from the southern hemisphere will be from mid to late November 2013 in the mornings before sunrise and in the daytime about the date of perihelion on 29 November 2013.

Note: Do not look directly at the Sun. Use your unaided eyes to look for the comet (you should not use telescopes or binoculars) taking care to block the Sun with an object.



Hot of the Press

Incredible images of more anomalies scooting past the Sun - this time there are two... Hummm smile

Enlarge the screen on the video so you get a good close up view (screen symbol bottom right corner) than....
Pause the video as best you can at the time stamp 20:33:19 for the larger of the two
Pause the video as best you can at the time stamp 20:33:55 for the smaller of the two

Video:
http://delphi.nascom.nasa.gov/?movieId=JFX95


Here is a snapshot of anomaly number One at 20:33:19



Here is a snapshot of anomaly number Two at 20:33:55




Pretty cool I must say, it is hard to catch one let alone two. They are not planets and not comets. Asteroid, Possibly but I doubt it. Would they be artifacts... well not sure as they appear in more than one frame. Who knows but I would love too! They are two entirely different shapes even compared to last time and within seconds of each other and at varying distances to one another. The default setting for these movies are at 15 frames per second but I'm not sure what this movie was set at. Got me beat but it's fun having the mind run wild thinking of what is possibly out there wink


On that note I will bid you a happy Friday evening and a good weekend.
Take care with all the mad weather around and fires around down south.

Cheers
SDx
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Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain smile

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#1174840 - 22/02/2013 21:43 Re: Solar Watch - Spaceweather 2011 - 2013 [Re: SunnyDays]
SunnyDays Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 30/01/2011
Posts: 1464
Loc: Oxley Brisbane Qld

Evening smile

I have to share this as it is so very special - never before seen beautiful footage of Coronal Rain.





From NASA direct http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sdo/news/coronal-rain.html

Eruptive events on the sun can be wildly different. Some come just with a solar flare, some with an additional ejection of solar material called a coronal mass ejection (CME), and some with complex moving structures in association with changes in magnetic field lines that loop up into the sun's atmosphere, the corona.

On July 19, 2012, an eruption occurred on the sun that produced all three. A moderately powerful solar flare exploded on the sun's lower right limb, sending out light and radiation. Next came a CME, which shot off to the right out into space. And then, the sun treated viewers to one of its dazzling magnetic displays – a phenomenon known as coronal rain.

Over the course of the next day, hot plasma in the corona cooled and condensed along strong magnetic fields in the region. Magnetic fields, themselves, are invisible, but the charged plasma is forced to move along the lines, showing up brightly in the extreme ultraviolet wavelength of 304 Angstroms, which highlights material at a temperature of about 50,000 Kelvin. This plasma acts as a tracer, helping scientists watch the dance of magnetic fields on the sun, outlining the fields as it slowly falls back to the solar surface.

The footage in this video was collected by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory's Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) instrument. SDO collected one frame every 12 seconds, and the movie plays at 30 frames per second, so each second in this video corresponds to six minutes of real time. The video covers 12:30 a.m. EDT to 10:00 p.m. EDT on July 19, 2012.


I hope you like it smile
Cheers have a good night

SDx
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Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain smile

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#1178227 - 27/02/2013 22:23 Re: Solar Watch - Spaceweather 2011 - 2013 [Re: SunnyDays]
Sunday Offline
Cloud Gazer

Registered: 06/02/2011
Posts: 11
Loc: Port Stephens, NSW
Hi SunnyDays, I just wanted you to know that I find your posts in this thread fascinating, I don't respond because I have nothing of value to add and truthfully sometimes don't completely understand but I thought it would be nice for you know that I look forward to your posts here.

HINT HINT, lol

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