The X4.9 flare of Feb 25 00:49 produced rising proton flux levels and a CME. The proton flux levels will cross the 10 pfu threshold for >10 MeV particles in the coming minutes. Meanwhile, incoming data revealed that the CME expanded to a full halo CME with a propagation speeds above 1500 km/s. Culgoora Observatory observed type II radio bursts with speeds of 2000 km/s and 700 km/s. As a consequence, we expect disturbed geomagnetic conditions but it remains hard to predict timing and magnitude as the CME has only a minor component in the direction of the Earth. SIDC
The well known Pleiades star cluster is slowly destroying part of a passing cloud of gas and dust. The Pleiades is the brightest open cluster of stars on Earth’s sky and can be seen from almost any northerly location with the unaided eye. The passing young dust cloud is thought to be part of Gould’s belt, an unusual ring of young star formation surrounding the Sun in the local Milky Way Galaxy. Over the past 100,000 years, part Gould’s belt is by chance moving right through the older Pleiades and is causing a strong reaction between stars and dust. Pressure from the star’s light significantly repels the dust in the surrounding blue reflection nebula, with smaller dust particles being repelled more strongly. A short-term result is that parts of the dust cloud have become filamentary and stratified, as seen in the above deep-exposure image.
The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is a nearby galaxy, and a satellite of the Milky Way. At a distance of slightly less than 50 kiloparsecs (≈163,000 light-years), the LMC is the third closest galaxy to the Milky Way, with the Sagittarius Dwarf Spheroidal (~ 16 kiloparsecs) and the putative Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy (~ 12.9 kiloparsecs, though its status as a galaxy is underdispute) lying closer to the center of the Milky Way. It has a mass equivalent to approximately 10 billion times the mass of the Sun (10 solar masses), making it roughly 1/100 as massive as the Milky Way, and a diameter of about 14,000 light-years (~ 4.3kpc). The LMC is the fourth largest galaxy in the Local Group, after the Andromeda Galaxy (M31), the Milky Way, and theTriangulum Galaxy (M33).
Solar activity is dominated by the complex of active regions 1982-1981 (S10W20) and by recurrent active region 1967 (S11E88) crossing the East limb. A filament activation was seen (Feb 24 00:00-05:00) at disc centre, near the complex 1982-1981. NOAA AR 1967 produced a long duration M1 flare. For both cases, coronagraph data are still missing. We expect solar activity to increase as NOAA AR 1967 starts its journey over the solar disc. This active region produced numerous M-flares during its previous rotation, including an M5 flare on February 4, and also on the back-side of the Sun it frequently saturated the STEREO/EUVI sensors. Geomagnetic activity is quiet and is expected to remain so in the coming days. SIDC
What would it look like to travel to the center of an active galaxy? Most galactic centers are thought to house black holes millions of times more massive than our Sun. The spaces surrounding these supermassive black holes may be far from dormant, however, flickering in many colors and earning the entire object class the title of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN). Pictured above is a video illustrating how an active galactic nucleus may appear up close. AGN typically sport massive accretion disks feeding the central black hole, as well as powerful jets shooting electrically charged matter far into the surrounding universe. Clouds of gas and dustseen orbiting the central black holes have recently been found to be so dense that they intermittently eclipse even penetrating x-rays from reaching us. These X-ray dimming events, as short as hours but as long as years, were detected in an analysis encompassing over a decade of data taken by the NASA’s orbiting Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE).