SUNSPOT MONITORING – DECEMBER 21, 2020

Here are today’s solar images taken from Al Sadeem Observatory, December 21, 2020.

The sky was generally clear with intermittent moderate to fresh breeze which provided good transparency but average seeing at the time these images were taken.

Solar activity has remained at very low levels over the past 48 hours.  A new unipolar sunspot group has recently rotated into Earth-view from the west-southwestern limb and was designated as AR2794 (recurrent AR2786). It has a relatively huge leader spot but magnetically simple and currently inactive (Modified Zurich/Mcintosh sunspot configuration: Hsx/alpha). The latest sunspot number (based on visual count and Wolf number calculation) is 11. Other solar features observed were a few tiny and a moderately huge one (at the NW limb) quiescent prominences at the limbs, small enhanced plages associated with AR2794, former AR2792 and AR2783 (at the southwestern quadrant); as well as some stable elongated filaments at the southern and northeastern quadrants of the Sun’s disk, as distinctively captured in H-alpha imagery.

Space weather agencies* forecast solar activity to be at very low levels with chances of solar flares of B-class (possibly isolated C-class) intensity, mainly from AR2794. 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. For H-alpha imagery, the equipment used are Lunt 60mm H-alpha solar telescope, and QHYCCD 290III mono camera; all mounted on Skywatcher EQ6 pro mount 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 (4:30 PM – 5:00 PM, December 21, 2020, from NCM Al Wathba Station):

Average Temperature: 23.97°C

Average Humidity: 39.33%

Average Wind Speed and Direction: 18.6 kph from NNW

Average Cloud Cover: 0%

Average Air Pressure: 1008.5 hPa

Average Solar Radiation: 209.67 W/m^2

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