The most prominent flaring activity of the past 24 hours was an M1.4 flare in NOAA AR 2014 with peak time at 8:07 UT and a C7.6 flare in NOAA AR 2017 with peak at 21:15 UT on March 30. NOAA AR 2026 produced a further number of C flares. C flaring activity is expected to continue over the next 48 hours, with a slight chance for an M flare. Yesterdays M2.1 flare in NOAA AR 2017 which peaked at 11:55 UT on March 30 was associated with a partial halo CME, first visible in the LASCO C2 field of view at 12:24 UT. The CME had an angular width of about 170 degrees and a speed of around 500 km/s (as determined by the CACTUS software). Although the bulk of the CME mass was expelled in NorthWest direction of the
Sun-Earth line, an equatorial component was present. A glancing blow from this partial halo CME is possible and can be expected early on April 3. Both the C7.6 flare in AR 2014 and the M1.4 flare in AR 2014 had eruptions associated with them, but preliminary analysis with STEREO COR2 ahead seems to indicate that they had a relatively small angular width and are therefore not expected to become geoeffective. The solar wind speed is steady at 400 km/s with the magnetic field at around 4 nT.
Geomagnetic conditions are quiet to moderate, with Kp not above 2, while the local K Dourbes reaching 3.
Equipment: Coronado 90 + Imaging Source DMK + LX75
Processing: Photoshop, Avistack 300 frames
Time UT: 16:00
Exposure 1/500 sec.
With SPONLI Space is getting closer
Image Credit: S. S. Sheppard (CIS) & C. Trujillo (Gemini Obs.), NOAO
What is the furthest known object in our Solar System? The new answer is 2012 VP113, an object currently over twice the distance of Pluto from the Sun. Pictured above is a series of discovery images taken with the Dark Energy Camera attached to the NOAO’s Blanco 4-meter Telescope in Chile in 2012 and released last week. The distant object, seen moving on the lower right, is thought to be a dwarf planet like Pluto. Previously, the furthest known dwarf planet was Sedna, discovered in 2003. Given how little of the sky was searched, it is likely that as many as 1,000 more objects like 2012 VP113 exist in the outer Solar System. 2012 VP113 is currently near its closest approach to the Sun, in about 2,000 years it will be over five times further. Some scientists hypothesize that the reason why objects like Sedna and 2012 VP113 have their present orbits is because they were gravitationally scattered there by a much larger object – possibly a very distant undiscovered planet.
NASA APOD 31-mar-2014
NGC 2174 (also known as Monkey Head Nebula) is an H II emission nebula located in the constellation Orion and is associated with the open star cluster NGC 2175. It is thought to be located about 6,400 light-years away from Earth. The nebula may have formed through hierarchical collapse.
Imaging telescopes or lenses: Orion 8″ f/3.9 Newtonian Astrograph
Imaging cameras: QSI 683 wsg-8
Mounts: Celestron AVX
Focal reducers: Baader MPCC
Filters: Orion SkyGlow 2″ Imaging Filter
Dates: March 7, 2014
Astrodon 3nm Ha: 8×600″ bin 2×2
Astrodon 3nm OIII: 8×600″ bin 2×2
Astrodon Blue Tru-Balance E-Series Gen 2: 4×240″ bin 2×2
Astrodon Green Tru-Balance E-Series Gen 2: 4×240″ bin 2×2
Astrodon Red Tru-Balance E-Series Gen 2: 4×240″ bin 2×2
Integration: 3.5 hours
Author: Charles Ward
AstroPhotography of the day by SPONLI
31 March 2014