Ride The Roller Coaster To Solar Minimum

Most of us live on a 24-hour cycle beginning with waking up, going about our jobs or other activities and then sleeping before waking up again. We call it the circadian rhythm from the Latin circa dia or “about a day.” The sun has a rhythm too, called the 11-year solar cycle. During that time, we…
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Aurora Chance Tonight Aug. 7-8 / See It Rain Plasma On The Sun

Just in time before the moon thickens and brightens the sky, there’s a chance for a G1 (minor) geomagnetic storm tonight. The last solar blast — a G2 or moderate storm — occurred on August 2-3 and sparked a very attractive display in the lower half of the northern sky seen from the northern U.S. and Canada.…
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Departing Sunspot Group Delivers Biggest Flare Of Year

Side-by-side sunspot groups 2565 and 2567 erupted twice with powerful flares overnight. The first occurred at 9:11 p.m. (Central Daylight) yesterday evening and the second at 12:15 a.m. this morning. Both were M-class or moderate intensity, but the second, rated at M7.6,  verged on strong and proved to be the most powerful flare yet of…
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Big Sunspot Group Heats Up

(Update: The aurora’s active tonight. Not a big storm, but if you live in the northern U.S. and the sky’s clear, head out for a look. A G1 storm (Kp=5) is underway with arcs and faint rays low in the northern sky. The activity, spawned by a coronal mass ejection (CME) from the sun earlier…
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Big Sunspot Bows Out With A Bang

Giant sunspot 2529 has provided a lot of entertainment this past week for solar observers. Several times the diameter of the Earth, the sunspot was easily visible through a #14 welder’s glass and a stunning sight through even the smallest telescopes. Most beginners think of telescopes as night sky instruments only, but they’re just as…
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