As you will already know since you are reading this, Helioviewer Project services have now returned to nominal operations earlier than anticipated. Thanks to all those concerned for their work and for keeping the downtime to a minimum!
Just before our scheduled outage, many of our users caught sight of a flaring active region (videos below). Well, since then the Solar Weather Prediction Center
“has issued a Geomagnetic Storm Watch with G2 level storming likely and G3 level storming possible, with the storm continuing into Wednesday, Jan 25. All of this activity is related to a moderate (R2) Radio Blackout x-ray flare that erupted Sunday night (11pm EST).”
which the self-same flaring event spotted by our users. This is a developing story – please consult the Solar Weather Prediction Center for more updates on the progress of the storm. There is great animation of the predicted progress of the coronal mass ejection through interplanetary space as it comes towards Earth here. Geomagnetic storms are temporary disturbances in the Earth’s magnetic field; this one is predicted to be moderate, possibly strong. On average, there are a few of these every year; the good news is that if you haven’t noticed one before, you’re probably not going to notice this one.
I’ve included some videos of the flaring event below, made by Helioviewer users and shared with Helioviewer and YouTube users – thanks everyone!
YouTube user Idontwannastopat6
Nice close-up of the flare in SDO/AIA 304 ansgtrom from YouTube user 666redwater.
YouTube user 666redwater also made a zoomed-out video of this event using the SDO/AIA 131 filter. In this filter you see very different structures compared to SDO/AIA 304 and 171. There are a total of 10 filters of AIA, each of them telling us something different about the structure of the sun’s atmosphere.