Photo of the day: mid-level flare on yesterday’s Sun – solar activity remains ‘averagely elevated’

solar flare - medium solar activity
Handout picture by NASA (credit: Credit: NASA/SDO/Goddard Space Flight Center) shows the beauty of a mid-level solar flare on 13 November 2012 captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) in three different wavelengths: in 304 Ångstrom (left), which shows light from the region of the Sun’s atmosphere where flares originate; light from the Sun in the 193 Ångstrom wavelength (middle), which shows the hotter material of a solar flare; and light in 335 Ångstroms (right), which highlights light from active regions in the corona.

According to NASA M-class solar flares, as pictured above, are the weakest category that is still potent enough to ’cause some space weather effects near Earth.’ These flares are not exceptional and during episodes of high solar activity can occur multiple times per day.

The sunspot number is currently down to around 50, which indicates solar activity has dropped some more in recent days – and is now about half as strong as last year’s November sunspot peak.

Yes. Winter is coming. Stay tuned for our upcoming seasonal climate forecasts!

© Rolf Schuttenhelm |

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