2012 07 10 – NOAAs 11520 and 11519


Temp: 89F, winds calm, 80% overcast

It was clear first thing this morning after a night of much needed drizzling rain. I had intended on sketching the large active region 1520 but after getting the morning chores done and then setting up my equipment, the clouds had rolled in once again. I decided to image the Sun instead. There weren’t enough gaps to allow time for sketching and I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to grab at least some sort of recording of this sunspot group.

According to NOAA forecasters (as read on Spaceweather.com), this active region’s magnetic field may produce an 80% chance of M-class flares and a 25% chance of X-class flares within the next 24 hours. It’s definitely the region to watch today. If it clears up again, I’ll try to grab an observation in h-alpha as well, although my CSC shows that may be a slim chance! I’m thankful for the rain…if only I could have the best of both worlds!

I didn’t have enough time for a close look at 1515 on the western limb. The Solar Dynamic’s Observatory (SDO) put up a wonderful picture today to demonstrate the approximate size of the coronal loop on the western limb today.

Photo credit: NASA SDO

Link to Facebook post from SDO from 2012 July 10th

In SDO’s words regarding the photo compilation:

For many Coronal Loops are the favorite feature on the Sun. And there are some amazing loops on today’s Sun. So I decided to illustrate the size of today’s loops over the western limb of the Sun.

These are approx. sizes only to give some idea of how big the Sun and these coronal loops are.

The corona is made up of loops of hot gas that arch high above the Sun’s surface. These highly structured and elegant loops are a direct consequence of the twisted solar magnetic flux within the solar body and plasma travels along these magnetic field lines.

Thank you SDO for providing amazing images and solar education!

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~ by Erika Rix on July 10, 2012.

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