Sunday, May 6, 2012

NOAA Active Region 11476

I was super busy yesterday as I was leading a program at the Mount Lemmon SkyCenter, yet early in the day I was hearing reports of a strong flare and coronal mass ejection emanating from a new active region on the Sun. As I did not really have time to set up my solar telescopes I did look on the Solar Dynamics Observatory webpage and discovered that the "latest" image, at left, was indeed spectacular.  The in progress coronal mass ejection was coming off of the northeast limb of the Sun.  As it turns out, this ejection was associated with an M class flare- quite a powerful event.  Be sure to click the image to enlarge it.

This morning, I set up both my hydrogen alpha and white light solar telescopes to check out the Sun.  While impressive in hydrogen alpha, the newly emerging region on the northeast limb is incredibly complex as seen in my white light sketch below.  I made the sketch at a magnification of approximately 50X, and the new region 11476 is sporting some dozen spots.  While this region is stealing the show, there are four other regions with spots as seen in the sketch.  Regions 11474, and 11475 in the northeast each contain one dark spot.  Region 11471 in the southwest contains 2 spots, and region 11472 contains a very large spot as well as 5 trailing spots.

Sketch completed at 1640 UT
Carrington rotation No. 2123
Solar Diameter: 31' 42"
Solar altitude: 51 degrees
Solar Azimuth: 104 degrees

Click the sketch to enlarge it

No comments:

Post a Comment