Sunspot neighbours

Forecasters seemed to be heading for yet another boring spaceweather week, when -during the afternoon hours of 14 July- a new sunspot region gradually developed about 70.000 km east of NOAA 2565's main spot. In solar terms, that's like shaking hands with your neighbours! The new "sunspot family" was numbered NOAA 2567, and both groups reached a surface area of nearly twice the surface area of the Earth by the end of the period.

SC24 highlights page

Every year, the STCE publishes a news item with an overview of the most memorable solar and space weather highlights. These include spectacular solar flares, impressive filament eruptions, huge coronal holes, and much more. Each time, a movie is compiled with several clips of each event. As it also makes reference to the associated effects such as strong geomagnetic storms, aurora sightings, extremes in solar wind parameters, and number of strong flares, the news item provides at the same time a brief status of the ongoing solar cycle.

Backside eruptions

Once again, solar observers were treated on a blemishless golden orb, with the preliminary sunspot number being "0" from 25 June onwards. While the earth-facing solar hemisphere had apparently already left for the summer holidays, the Sun's backside still showed some signs of life, displaying a few active regions.

Impressive eruption

No C-class or stronger flares, and several spotless days: Last week will not be remembered for its high solar activity. Fortunately, some spotless active regions were rounding the east solar limb

A long duration geomagnetic storm

Early May, one small and one large coronal hole transited the solar disk's centre. As expected, the associated high speed streams arrived at Earth just a few days later.

Spotless days

The already very low solar activity of the last few months ended into a downright traumatic experience for the solar observers when, starting on 3 June, the Sun became totally devoid of its so familiar speckles. Indeed, from 3 till 7 June, no sunspots were observed, and the daily estimated sunspot number was at comatose levels (flat "0") for 5 consecutive days. The gif underneath shows SDO/HMI imagery of the solar disk from 1 till 8 June.

Quiet week, lovely events

Solar flaring activity was once again restricted to a handful of minor C-class flares this week. A few regions drew away all attention: Departing NOAA 2546, emerging NOAA 2548, and ...

An early application...

We are still far from the year's end, yet we already received an application for the most impressive solar event of the year. A relatively modest C3 flare ...

One year with no X-class flares

X-class flares are "eXtreme" x-ray solar events, 10 times more powerful than a "medium" M-class flare, and 100 times more powerful than the "common" C-class flares.

NOAA 2529 remains active

The big sunspot group NOAA 2529 was a relatively quiet region before producing an M6 flare early on 18 April. The coronal mass ejection (CME) associated with this "medium" flare was not directed to Earth.



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