A CME with an Olympic speed

A solar flare plays hide-and-seek

The graph underneath could have been the profile of a mountain stage in the Tour de France, but no: it shows the evolution of the x-ray flux as it was observed by the GOES-15 satellite from 17 till 19 July 2012.

X1 flare in NOAA 1520

In the afternoon of July 12, 2012, the complex and up-to-then relatively quiet sunspot group NOAA 1520 all of a sudden produced an extreme solar flare.

NOAA 1515: pictures of the M6.9 flare on July 8

As noted in a previous comment, NOAA 1515 produced 5 high energetic events during its transit. The last of these events was an M6.9-flare on July 8th that occurred while NOAA 1515 was already close to the western solar limb. The flare started at 16:23UT and reached its maximum x-ray intensity at 16:32UT. The images underneath show the eruption as seen by PROBA2/SWAP and in H-alpha during the flare's peak and at 16:54UT. One can clearly see that material is ejected from the blast site.

NOAA 1515 takes the center stage

NOAA 1515 appeared at the southeastern solar limb on June 27th. With a maximum sunspot area of only about 5 times the total surface of the Earth, it certainly did not become the biggest sunspot group so far this solar cycle.
Nonetheless, the group was quite complex and showed interesting dynamics. For example, the images underneath taken by SDO/HMI on 1 and 2 July show the splitting of the main spot in less than 24 hours! Cytokinesis of solar proportions!

LYRA: the alternative to GOES flare monitoring

According to, the GOES-15 data provision is temporarily interrupted.

PROBA2 LYRA has set-up an alternative for the GOES flare monitoring service using the zirconium channel of the PROBA2/LYRA radiometer ( as a GOES proxy. It is especially useful when GOES is unavailable, as happened on March 21, 22 and 23. See


Disturbed radio communication and satellite navigation on Jan 22, 2012

The GNSS research group of the Solar-Terrestrial Centre of Excellence measured ionospheric disturbances on Jan 22 which impact the communication and satellite navigation at that moment. The Jan 22 event versus THE Jan 24 event

Solar activity - what can be expected?

The Sun has again an activity revival since Jan 16, not an extra ordinary revival, but high. No records were broken. There was a series of plasma ejections, not straight to Earth, but glancing blows from above. The most dangerous aspect up to now is the ongoing proton event.
For aurora-watchers: the chance for aurora in Belgium is very small.

The best of ... 2011!

A compilation of the most memorable space weather moments of 2011 can be found underneath. Using the fantastic (J)Helioviewer software, a ***MOVIE*** was created containing one or more clips of each event.

The Sun in August 2011

Solar Activity

The Sun is shifting to an even higher activity level compared to the previous month. The higher values of the International Sunspot Number and the 10cm flux translated into a series of events: a sequel of Earth-directed CME's and flares, the up to now strongest flare of the current cycle and a proton event.



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