Monday, June 27, 2016

WHAT'S AROUND THE BEND?

The Earth-facing side of the sun is quiet, but the farside is not. We know because on Saturday something exploded there, hurling a cloud of plasma over the sun's eastern limb. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded a movie of the high-flying debris:


video



Within a few days, the underlying blast site should reveal itself as the sun's rotation brings the active region over the horizon. We shall see if it is a large sunspot or something less threatening.

Until then, the visible disk of the sun remains blank and the odds of an Earth-directed explosion are low. NOAA forecasters say there is no more than a 1% chance of strong solar flares on June 26th.



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