Here are today’s solar images taken from Al Sadeem Observatory, March 17, 2021.

The sky was mostly hazy to partly cloudy (with upper-level dust) with intermittent moderate breeze which provided average to poor seeing and transparency at the time these images were taken. 

Very low solar activity has prevailed over the past 24 hours. The lone visible sunspot group AR2808 (Axx/alpha) has decayed much further into plage with its leader spot continually disintegrating, now barely visible in white-light imagery. On the other hand, AR2810 (Hax/alpha) developed a distinct surrounding penumbra on its leader spot after some spot consolidation, but currently inactive. The latest sunspot number (based on visual count and Wolf number calculation) is 23.  No significant flaring activity was recorded over the past 24 hours.

The Sun exhibited several minor plasma ejections (most of them are non-Earth directed) through the presence of mostly small quiescent ones with the exception of a huge eruptive one at the NE limb, as well as the small enhanced plages associated with AR2808 and AR2810, 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 up to B-class intensity mainly from AR2808. 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.


Weather Data (4:30 PM – 5:00 PM, March 17, 2021, from NCM Al Wathba Station):

Average Temperature: 35.67°C

Average Humidity: 10.67%

Average Wind Speed and Direction: 23.77 kph from NNW

Average Cloud Cover: 45% (mostly haze with few patches of high cirrus clouds)

Average Air Pressure: 1001.1 hPa

Average Solar Radiation: 243.67 W/m^2