The Sun is very active!

Severe geomagnetic storm on November 6

A beautiful Coronal Mass Ejection

Although solar activity is generally low these days, beautiful Coronal Mass Ejections can still be seen frequently, such as the one depicted here, which happened on Jul 23. Enjoy the movie from the C2 field of view, made by the LASCO instrument on board the SOHO spacecraft.

The Sun stages a CME show

Watch the Sun blast off a streamer type plasma cloud in the corona by shooting a fast CME through it.
Images and movies were made on 6-7 May 2001 by the LASCO instrument on board the SOHO spacecraft.

C2 field of view

NOAA active region 9393, the largest sunspot group of the current cycle

Did we pass solar maximum?

The monthly sunspot index shows a continuous decay since July (Provisional values for July: 169.1, August: 130.5, September: 109.9). Meanwhile, different prediction methods are disagreeing whether the cycle 23 is still rising or not. All this suggest that we are now very near the solar maximum.

Active region 9169 the largest sunspot in 9 years

Active region 9169, the largest sunspot in 9 years, is rotating towards the center of the Sun's visible disk. Magnetic fields above the spot have a tangled beta-gamma-delta configuration which is likely to trigger violent activity in the coming days.

The Sun on September 18 (top left), 21, and 24 (large image). Credits: Franky Dubois

Tantalizing EIT picture from SOHO

A high speed solar wind stream

The ACE (Advanced Composition Explorer) satellite detected a steady increase, over a period of roughly one day on the 28th of August, of the solar wind speed from 400 to 600 km/s (yellow curve in plot underneath). This gradual but significant change of the wind speed indicates that the Earth is experiencing the solar wind originating from a different region of the sun, namely a coronal hole.

High resolution image from the Swedish Solar Telescope

The Swedish Vacuum Solar Telescope (SVST)  at La Palma makes high resolution images of the solar photosphere using adaptive optics. This image is taken on April 27 and shows the large sunspot in Active Region 8970.

Click here for a high resolution version of this image. More info at Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD - 22 May 2000).



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