Thursday, September 08, 2011

Solar Observations are Changing Our Vision

This is an exciting time for people who follow solar-terrestrial phenomena.  New spacecraft have joined the existing SOHO to give images and insights that were unimaginable even a year ago.

The sun turns out to be an even more interesting place than we knew it was already. Flares are long duration events, not simple explosions. CMEs can generate incredible lacy patterns.  They can also now be observed from afar, showing exactly how they reach and engulf the Earth.  Sunspots can now be observed while still deep inside the sun, before they reach the surface.

In the short term, CMEs and a coronal hole bode ill for stable HF propagation starting sometime tomorrow, but at least with the equinox coming they'll undoubtedly be great for aurora watchers.  Today, though, HF propagation continues to be the best I've heard it in years.


NASA/ESA Solar & Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO): 

NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO):

NASA Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory (STEREO):

NASA Video Gallery:

NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center