Activity Heating Up on the Sun!

Article written: 2 Aug , 2011
Updated: 24 Dec , 2015
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The summer Sun (for us in the northern hemisphere) is getting active! Here are images and videos of recent activity, which include sunspots and an M-class flare. Above is a close-up look at four active regions taken by César Cantú from the Chilidog Observatory in Monterrey, Mexico.

Below, see a strong but brief M9-class solar flare which occurred on July 31, 2011 from Active Region 1261, captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory. Scientists from SDO say that because it was brief it appears not to have hurled a large coronal mass ejection (CME) outwards.


The Sun in four different wavelengths. Credit: César Cantú from the Chilidog Observatory. Click for larger version.

Here’s a comparative look at the sunspots from August 1, 2011, taken by César Cantú from the Chilidog Observatory in Mexico. “Taking advantage of the program that I could attach Lucam Recorder in AVI (video) different bands of light, here is this comparative look in negative, white light, the calcium band and hydrogen-alpha band,” said Cantú. He used a 90 Coronado telescope and camera with dual ektalon DMK41.

See more at the Chilidog Observatory website, Astronomía Y Astrofotografía.

Here’s a video clip from SDO showing an interesting alignment of three good-sized sunspot groups that appear to be marching across the Sun, taken July 28-29, 2011.

See more, and keep up with all the activity on the Sun at the SDO website.

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11 Responses

  1. Anonymous says

    Appreciate the update. Still seems unusually quiet for this point in the cycle.
    http://www.solarham.com/

  2. NASA and NOAA warn a strong geomagnetic storm can collapse the power grid for months in much of the nation.

    Nuclear plants without grid power for a month can release radioactivity into surrounding and downwind communities.

    See the Aesop Institute website for maps worth 1,000 words.

    And an outline of what can be done to minimize the impact.

    • Tony Power says

      Do you sugest that the only way that Nuclear power plants can get electricity to power their cooling pumps is the main grid? Its a power station! It can power it’s self!

      • Anonymous says

        Thank you. They also all have backup generators.

      • squidgeny says

        Not every nuclear plant is on the coast of an active fault zone, so “but but but… japan!” isn’t a very strong argument.

        Anyway, I’d hate to see this comment section devolve into a debate over nuclear power when it has absolutely nothing to do with the article (except for the fact the sun itself is a nuclear plant), so perhaps we could all just agree to shut up?

    • Tree says

      I would hope that a power station could power itself if a solar flair hit the area. if it can’t then it is a huge failure of the regulatory agencies and the engineers that designed them.

  3. Randy Tolman says

    Don’t you think it would be wise to prepare ourselves personally for such a storm? I got some bags that are designed to protect personal electronics from the effects of CMEs and other electro magnetic events. I got the bags at empbags.com. Check it out.

  4. sumsco vanpat says

    I have to work in peoples attics, yesterday i was in an attic that was 150 degrees for 5 and a half hours. Felt like I was breathing in fire while working from 12:30-6pm. Coincidentally whenever I wonder whats going on on the suns surface while working in an attic, the sun ended up getting a solar flare, happened twice already this summer. Makes me wonder if this quote is true for me like always(Wiki):” Based on a philosophy of subjective idealism, metaphysical solipsists maintain that the self is the only existing reality and that all other reality, including the external world and other persons, are representations of that self, and have no independent existence.” This not only works with observation for me, but also in my thoughts! Point made and clear!

  5. Tree says

    I wonder what type of food they eat at the ” Chilidog Observatory in Mexico” What a strange name for an Observatory.

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