Daily Archives: May 6, 2014

The Sun Online and solar activity. May 6, 2014

Solar activity has been dominated by Catania group 36 (NOAA AR 2051) which is about to turn around the west limb and which produced an M1.8 flare peaking at 9:03 UT as well as a C7.1 flare peaking at 4:32 UT. A newly emerging region on the east limb (Catania group 43, NOAA AR 2056) produced a C8 flare peaking at 18:28 UT. Only a couple of further low level C flares were reported. Over the coming days flaring activity is expected to continue in the C level with also a possibility for M flares. There was a CME associated with the M1.8 flare but preliminary coronagraph data seem to indicate a rather restricted angular width which together with the source location leads to expect it not to be geoeffective.  The solar wind speed dropped to a low of around 340 km/s to increase to a maximum of around 420 km/s just before the sector boundary crossing around 22:00 UT after which speeds have been fluctuating in the 350 to 400 km/s range. The total magnetic field decreased and is now stable in the 4nT to 6nT range. Bz varied between -7nT and 5nT, and is, after the sector boundary crossing, fluctuating in the -2nT to 4nT range. There are yet no signs of the possible arrival of the May 3 CME, expected later today or early tomorrow. Geomagnetic activity has diminished from quiet to unsettled at the start of the reporting period to quiet at the end of the reporting period. Geomagnetic activity may increase to unsettled or possibly active if/when the May 3 CME arrives late May 6 or early May 7.


Orange Sun Sparking 


Image Credit & Copyright: Alan Friedman (Averted Imagination)

Our Sun has become quite a busy place. Taken only two weeks ago, the Sun was captured sporting numerous tumultuous regions including active sunspot regions AR 2036 near the image top and AR 2036near the center. Only four years ago the Sun was emerging from an unusually quiet Solar Minimum that had lasted for years. The above image was recorded in a single color of light called Hydrogen Alpha, inverted, and false colored. Spicules cover much of the Sun’s face like a carpet. The gradual brightening towards the Sun’s edges is caused by increased absorption of relatively cool solar gas and called limb darkening. Just over the Sun’s edges, several filamentary prominences protrude, while prominences on the Sun’s face are seen as light streaks. Possibly the most visually interesting of all are the magnetically tangled active regions containing relatively cool sunspots, seen as white dots. Currently at Solar Maximum — the most active phase in its 11-year magnetic cycle, the Sun’s twisted magnetic field is creating numerous solar “sparks” which include eruptive solar prominences, coronal mass ejections, and flares which emit clouds of particles that may impact the Earth and cause auroras. One flare two years ago released such a torrent of charged particles into the Solar System that it might have disrupted satellites and compromised power grids had it struck planet Earth.

NASA APOD 06-May-14

Butterfly Nebula. IC1318

2b50bd973b7f49992b77e679b281a342.1824x0_q100_watermark_watermark_opacity-40_watermark_position-6_watermark_text-Copyright FrancescoTallaricoLocated in the Cygnus complex the Butterfly nebula (IC1318) is a single giant HII cloud bisected by a thick obscuring dust lane that gives the symmetry from which its popular names derives. IC1318 surrounding Sadr or Gamma Cygni.

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Takahashi FSQ 106ED
Imaging cameras: SBIG STL-11000M
Mounts: RM 500
Guiding telescopes or lenses: Takahashi FSQ 106ED
Accessories: OAG artigianale Turi Lo Vecchio
OIII 12nm: 10×600″ bin 2×2
Astronomik SII 12nm: 10×600″ bin 2×2
Integration: 3.3 hours

Author: Francesco Tallarico
AstroPhotography of the day by SPONLI 06 May 2014