What Can Be Expected in 2013?
SIGNIFICANT FLARE: Sunspot AR1818 erupted on August 17th at 1824 UT, producing a long duration M3-class solar flare. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the action:
The movie (play it again) shows material from the blast site flying into space. It is too soon to say whether Earth is in the line of fire. Stay tuned for updates as more data arrive from the SOHO and STEREO spacecraft.
MAGNETIC FIELD REVERSAL ON THE SUN: It hasn't happened yet, but it's about to. Data from NASA-supported observatories show that the sun's global magnetic field will flip before the end of 2013. The reversal, which signals the arrival of Solar Maximum, will have ripple effects felt throughout the solar system. Credit: www.spaceweather.com
Credit: Starry Night Software
PERSEID METEOR SHOWER: New research by NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office shows that one meteor shower produces more fireballs than any other--the Perseids. This year's Perseid peak is just around the corner on August 12-13. Get ready for fireballs.
ERUPTING MAGNETIC FILAMENTS: During the late hours of July 26th, two filaments of magnetism erupted on the sun. The first to blow was this loop on the sun's southwestern limb:
A second filament connecting sunspots AR1800 and AR1805 erupted shortly thereafter. Both blasts are captured in this movie, recorded by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory.
The explosions hurled coronal mass ejections (CMEs) into space: movie. One of them (the one propelled by the filament connecting AR1800 and AR1805) might be heading in the general direction of Earth. An analysis the CME's trajectory is in progress as more imagery becomes available.