The Quiet Sun

The Sun veiled itself in silence: no flares, low solar wind speed, descending 10cm Flux. On Earth, we are experiencing quiet geomagnetic conditions. Although, a large prominence is visible in EIT imagery and might be blown off. The movie below shows the evolution in time of the prominence. From February 14 onwards, we see an agile, spiral shaped black structure in the upper left corner.

GOES, an earth-orbiting spacecraft watching the Sun, did not detect any flaring activity with exception of the C1.6 flare in the morning of February 16. The background x-ray radiation has even reached the A-level as can be seen in the picture below.

The influence of the coronal hole that dominated completely space weather last week, has fainted away. As a result the solar wind speed decreased and is now blowing over ACE, the spacecraft in the L1-point measuring solar wind variables, with a speed of only 400 km/s. The magnetic field carried by the solar wind, the interplanetary magnetic field as we call it, is not strong.  Because of its parallel orientation, it has a low possibility of connecting with the magnetic field of the Earth. As a consequence we are experiencing quiet geomagnetic conditions.

In EIT 195, a prominence is visible in the North-East. It is not yet wobbling enough to say with any certainty that the coronal mass held by the magnetic field will be leashed and ejected into space. We keep our attention focused on the prominence!

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