SUNSPOT MONITORING – MARCH 20, 2019

SUNSPOT MONITORING – MARCH 20, 2019

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Here are today’s solar images taken from Al Sadeem Observatory, March 20, 2019.

The sky was mostly clear (with few approaching clouds at the west) with light air turbulence making the seeing and transparency good at the time these images were taken.

Two active sunspot regions are currently visible in the Sun. AR2735 (Modified Zurich/Mcintosh sunspot configuration: Bxo/alpha) has decayed much of its trailer spots with little consolidation and shrinkage on its leader spot; generally tiny, stable, and inactive in nature. On the other hand, the new sunspot group AR2736 has quickly emerged and possesses more complex configuration (Cro/beta). It produced a C4.8-class solar flare upon its emergence which is Earth-directed, based on space weather agency records. Most recent solar flare activity was associated with AR2736, including several minor B-class ones. The latest sunspot number (based on visual count and Wolf number calculation) is 36. Scattered plage regions associated with the two visible sunspot groups, as well as huge shallow filament and few moderately large eruptive prominences at the opposite (northeastern and northwestern) limbs were distinctively captured in H-alpha imagery.

Space weather agencies* forecast solar activity to remain at very low levels with chances of weak X-ray fluxes or flares ranging up to B-class (possibly up to isolated C-class) intensity, mainly from the two visible ARs. The extent of the frequency and intensity of the Sun’s activity will highly depend on the magnetic flux fluctuations happening in the visible ARs in the coming days. Close monitoring is being conducted by numerous space weather agencies for any significant development.

Equipment used are Skywatcher 120mm refractor telescope with Baader filter and unmodified Canon EOS 1D Mark IV DSLR camera for visible imagery and Lunt H-alpha solar telescope and ZWO120MM CMOS camera for H-alpha imagery, mounted on Skywatcher EQ6 Pro. Pre-processing of visible solar images was performed in PIPP, stacking in Autostakkert, slight wavelet adjustments in Registax 6 and post-processing in Adobe Photoshop CC.

*Technical reports courtesy of Solar Influence Data Center (SIDC), NOAA-Space Weather Prediction Center (NOAA-SWPC)

Weather Data (4:55PM – 5:15PM, March 20, 2019):

Average Temperature: 23.9°C

Average Humidity: 45.5%

Average Wind Speed and Direction: 17.9 kph from variable directions

Average Cloud Cover: 15%

Average Air Pressure: 1001.75 hpa

Average Solar Radiation: 145.67 W/m^2

Average UV Radiation: 319.5 µW/m^2 (low)

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