by Karen C. Fox for Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt MD (SPX) May 11, 2012
A particularly large and complex sunspot appeared over the left limb of the sun on Saturday, May 5, beginning its two-week trek across the face of the star in conjunction with the sun's rotation. The sunspot, dubbed Active Region 1476, has so far produced seven M-class flares and numerous C-class flares, including two M-class flares on May 9, 2012 that peaked at 8:32 EDT and 10:08 EDT.
These flares were all short-lived and there were no associated coronal mass ejections, so we do not expect any geomagnetic storms at Earth.
NASA Invites Children and Families to Learn About the Sun and Space Weather
The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) Sunday Experiment on May 20 will focus on solar science and space weather. Participants will learn about solar storms and how they affect the Earth from an SDO scientist; they can also participate in hands-on activities that explore the magnetic fields of the sun, electromagnets, and ultraviolet light.
The Solar Dynamics Observatory takes a continuous close look at the sun, the source of all space weather. Space weather affects not only our lives here on Earth, but the Earth itself, and everything outside its atmosphere (astronauts and satellites out in space and even the other planets).
The sun, our closest star, is still a great mystery to scientists. SDO will help us understand where the sun's energy comes from, how the inside of the sun works, and how energy is stored and released in the sun's atmosphere... yes, the sun has an atmosphere! By better understanding the sun and how it works, we will be able to better predict the "weather out in space" providing earlier warnings to protect our astronauts and satellites in space.
As always, the Visitor Center's Science on a Sphere theater will offer insight to Goddard's cutting edge science and research.
The Sunday Experiment, held the third Sunday of each month, spotlights Goddard's world-renowned science and engineering research and technological developments. Families leave inspired by the activities, wowed by the scientists and engineers, and excited about Goddard's revolutionary research and technology.
In addition to celebrating all things science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, the Sunday Experiment celebrates major science missions that are managed by NASA Goddard and set to launch in the near future.
Solar Science News at SpaceDaily
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Giant sunspots visible from Earth
Boulder, Colo. (UPI) May 9, 2012
Giant sunspots have sent clouds of particles toward Earth that could bring northern auroras but aren't expected to disrupt communications, U.S. scientists said. A large group of sunspots headed toward Earth during the weekend and two coronal mass ejections erupted from the Sun's surface Tuesday, they said. The ejection could arrive on Earth late Wednesday and cause moderate geoma ... read more
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