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M-class flares at last

We signed up for a period with more activity after a long time of flaring silence. The long duration C8.0 flare in the night between May 2 and 3 was the starting shot of a new series of M-flares.

The season of filament eruptions

In the time period around solar minimum, we have less sunspots, less flares, less coronal mass ejections (CMEs). If there are CMEs, they predominantly originate from erupting filaments.

SOHO/EIT 304 can capture nicely filaments and possible eruptions. Filaments are pictured as dark lines on the solar disk. When they erupt, they appear as orange loops in the black area around the Sun.

The big filament is still there after all!

The 'mega-cool' filament is still visible in recent H-alpha pictures. It lasted for 3 solar rotations.

The big filament is not there anymore!

The 'mega-cool' filament is not visible anymore. It lasted for 2 solar rotations.

The two spotted Sun

Two sunspot groups are visible near the center disk. If you look well, they are even visible with the naked eye! If you look, always use eclipse glasses or other protection.

Sunspot group with Catania number 40 was first visible on the solar disk on March 7 and grew in size until March 13. From that moment, it stabilized. On March 9, group number 41 was visible. It appeared as an alpha-group, a simple magnetic configuration and stayed like this.

Quiet frontside - Active backside

A halo coronal mass ejection (CME) was detected by the CACTus-software. The halo CME was part of a whole series of ejections fired of from late February 28 up till March 2. Contrary, EIT195 shows a quiet Sun.

On March 1, 2005 a halo CME-alert was sent by CACTus, a software that detects automatically CMEs from LASCO pictures. The CME left the occulting disk of LASCO/C2 at 04:54UT and had a angular width of 196 degrees. The cloud was ejected mainly to the north.

A "mega-cool" filament

An extremely large filament is visible on the solar disk. The length of the filament is even more then 60 times the diameter of Earth! At the moment, the plasma structure is quiet and not 'wobbling'.

A filament is a cloud of plasma suspended above the solar surface. Magnetic arcades act as a hammock in which the plasma rests. The filament appears as a dark ribbon in pictures like H-alpha (visible light) since it absorbs radiation from the solar surface below it and redistributes it in all directions so that the net radiation coming towards us, is less.

The turbulent life of 05 / 0720

The sunspot group with Catania number 05 (NOAA 0720) rotated over the west limb on January 22. While it was visible on the solar disk, it dominated space weather and was responsible for a few days of severe geomagnetic disturbances.

 

Global decreasing tendency but local increase

We are still in the declining phase of the solar cycle as can be seen in different physical quantities, like the 10cm flux. However, a really big sunspot group is pushing up the present 10cm flux-curve.

Louise Gérard: 25 years fidelity to the Sun

In Dinant, one could see for many years a telescope in one of the backyards, pointing at the Sun. This observation station was run by the oldest SIDC observer.

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