Daily Archives: May 22, 2014

The Sun Online and solar activity. May 22, 2014

There was one C6.4 flare during the past 24 hours, released by NOAA AR 12072 with peak time at 03:10 UT on May 22. No new CMEs were observed. In the next 48 hours, the probability for C flares is high (85%, from NOAA AR 12071, 12072, 12073, and 12066) and for M flares around 20%, especially from NOAA AR 12071 and 12072.Around 19h UT on May 21, the phi angle of the Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF) as observed by ACE changed from positive (away) to negative (toward), indicating an expected sector boundary crossing. At the same time, the magnitude of the IMF which had been fairly constant between 4 and 5 nT started fluctuating in a generally rising trend with current values reaching 8 nT. Over the last 24 hours, the
solar wind speed was steady and low around 320 km/s until 9h UT on May 22, when it started increasing, probably due to the expected arrival of a coronal hole high speed stream. Current values lie around 370 km/s.
Over the past 24 hours, geomagnetic conditions were quiet (K Dourbes between 0 and 2; NOAA Kp between 0 and 2). As an effect of the sector boundary crossing and the high speed stream arrival, quiet geomagnetic
levels (K Dourbes < 4) with active periods (K Dourbes = 4) are possible on May 22 and 23. Quiet conditions are expected on May 24, with a slight chance for active conditions in case the Earth suffers a glancing blow from the CME of May 21.


A Halo for NGC 6164 

Image Credit & Copyright: Martin Pugh & Rick Stevenson

 Beautiful emission nebula NGC 6164 was created by a rare, hot, luminous O-type star, some 40 times as massive as the Sun. Seen at the center of the cosmic cloud, the star is a mere 3 to 4 million years old. In another three to four million years the massive star will end its life in a supernova explosion. Spanning around 4 light-years, the nebula itself has a bipolar symmetry. That makes it similar in appearance to more common and familiar planetary nebulae – the gaseous shrouds surrounding dying sun-like stars. Also like many planetary nebulae, NGC 6164 has been found to have an extensive, faint halo, revealed in this deep telescopic image of the region. Expanding into the surrounding interstellar medium, the material in the halo is likely from an earlier active phase of the O star. The gorgeous skyscape is a composite of extensive narrow-band image data, highlighting glowing atomic hydrogen gas in red and oxygen in blue hues, with broad-band data for the surrounding starfield. NGC 6164 is 4,200 light-years away in the right-angled southern constellation of Norma.

NASA APOD 22-May-14

Globular cluster M56 in Lyra

36cb60b6cfb4004e9191234c7d471f7d.1824x0_q100_watermark_watermark_opacity-10_watermark_position-6_watermark_text-© Peter Folkesson

 M56 (or aka NGC 6779) is a globular cluster in the constellation Lyra. It was discovered by Charles Messieron January 19, 1779. The cluster is located almost midway along an imaginary line between Albireo (β Cygni) and Sulafat (γ Lyrae). It is a challenge to find with large (50–80 mm) binoculars, appearing as a slightly fuzzy star. The cluster can be resolved using a telescope with an aperture of 8 in (20 cm) or larger.

M56 is at a distance of about 32,900 light-years from Earth and measures roughly 84 light-years across, with a combined mass some 230,000 times that of the Sun. It is about 31–32 kly (9.5–9.8 kpc) from the Galactic Center and 4.8 kly (1.5 kpc) above thegalactic plane. This cluster has an estimated age of 13.70 billion years and is following a retrograde orbit through the Milky Way. The properties of this cluster suggest that it may have been acquired during the merger of a dwarf galaxy, of which Omega Centauriforms the surviving nucleus. For Messier 56, the abundance of elements other than hydrogen and helium, what astronomers term themetallicity, has a very low value of [Fe/H] = –2.00 dex. This is equivalent to 1% of the abundance in the Sun.

The brightest stars in M56 are of 13th magnitude, while it contains only about a dozen known variable stars, such as V6 (RV Tauri star; period: 90 days) or V1 (Cepheid: 1.510 days); other variable stars are V2 (irregular) and V3 (semiregular). In 2000, a diffuse X-ray emission was tentatively identified coming from the vicinity of the cluster. This is most likely interstellar medium that has been heated by the passage of the cluster through the galactic halo. The relative velocity of the cluster is about 177 km s−1, which is sufficient to heat the medium in its wake to a temperature of 940,000 K.

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Meade Model 2080
Imaging cameras: Canon 600D
Mounts: Sky-Watcher HEQ5 PRO
Guiding telescopes or lenses: Celestron 80mm Guidescope
Guiding cameras: Sky-Watcher Synguider
Software: PixInsight, BinaryRivers BackyardEOS
Dates: Sept. 27, 2013
Locations: Borås, Sweden
Frames: 15×240″ ISO800
Integration: 1.0 hours
Darks: ~20
Flats: ~20
Bias: ~20

Author: Peter Folkesson

AstroPhotography of the day by SPONLI
22 May 2014

The Sun Online and solar activity. May 21, 2014

There were two C flares during the past 24 hours. The brightest flare was a C2.3 flare released by NOAA AR 12071, peaking at 01:38 UT on May 21. LASCO C2 and C3 and STEREO COR2 A and B observed a bright CME probably associated to this flare. There is a slight chance for a glancing blow from this CME on May 24. In the next 48 hours, more C flares are likely, especially from NOAA AR 12071, 12072, and 12066.Over the last 24 hours, solar wind speed as observed by ACE gradually declined from 350 to 320 km/s, while the
magnitude of the Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF) varied between 2 and 5 nT. Over the past 24 hours, geomagnetic conditions were quiet (K Dourbes between 0 and 2; NOAA Kp between 0 and 1). Quiet geomagnetic levels (K Dourbes < 4) are expected on May 21 and 23. As an effect of an expected sector boundary crossing to a negative phi angle (toward) and the high speed stream associated to a weak southern coronal hole, there is a chance for active geomagnetic conditions (K Dourbes = 4) on May 22.