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NASA SDO - Summer Solar Flare
This movie from NASA's SDO shows a solar flare -- the bright light on the left side of the sun -- on July 8, 2014. An eruption of solar material can also be seen arcing up and away. After it left the sun, this became a coronal mass ejection, a giant cloud of solar material, headed toward Mars. Credit: NASA/SDO/Duberstein
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The most recent space weather summary and forecast from Dr. Tamitha Skov. note: The video was produced just before AR12113 gave us 2 solar eruptions. Solar Storm Forecast 07-07-2014
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Thanks for sharing! You honor me yet again Alex!
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An initial analysis using just STEREO Behind Cor2 gives a estimated speed of around 800-900 km/s. The event is headed away from Earth possibly in the direction of Mars and the Spitzer Space Telescope. Unfortunately, we will not have SOHO/LASCO data on the CME until later tonight. This is because we are currently not in contact with the SOHO spacecraft and so cannot download the data.
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The sun is riddled with spots and 2 regions with a lot of potential are looking right at us. Sunspot groups AR12108 and AR12109 have the kind of complexity indicative of M and possibly X-class flare activity. Both regions are almost certain to provide more C-flares with around 80% chance for M and 20% for X-flare activity. These percentages are from solarmonitor.org while NOAA forecasters give slightly lower probabilities with AR12108's (60% M, 10% X) slightly higher than AR12109's (30% M, 5% X.) These probabilities are determined much like precipitation probabilities for our weather are determined. They are based on past observations. Roughly, 20 out of 100 past sunspot groups like AR12108 have produced M-class flares giving the region a 20% chance for more M-flares. It is slightly more involved but that is the basic idea. Here is a snapshot of the visible light sun using the SDO/HMI instrument. This allows us to see the solar photosphere and sunspots. The currently visible sunspot groups are numbered (note that the 1s are left off the front of the numbers for shorthand, i.e. 12109 is written as 2109) credit: NASA/SDO
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Welcome to Aphelion 2014! The Earth reaches its furthest point from the sun, July 5, at 8pm EDT or July 6 at 1am in Universal Time (UT). This is called aphelion.

The point of closest approach is called perihelion. These terms are specific to a body orbiting the sun. For satellites of Earth (including the moon), the points of farthest and closest approach are called apogee and perigee, respectively. The generic terms for farthest and closest approach of a body in an elliptic orbit about a larger body are apoapsis and periapsis, respectively. 

A common misconception is that seasons are caused by our distance from the sun. At aphelion Earth is 1.0167 Astronomical Units (AUs) or 152,096,000 kilometers from the sun and during perihelion it is 0.9833 AU or 147,098,290 kilometers from the sun. But the times of greatest solar radiation on a hemisphere happen not because of the distance between the Earth and sun but the tilt of Earth’s rotation axis. These times are during the December and June solstices. 

David Dickinson observed the sun with his own telescope during perihelion and aphelion in 2012 to create the above images. They show the sun from Earth on January 4th (perihelion) and July 4th (aphelion.) You can read more about his observations as well as perihelion and aphelion in his July 2, 2013 post on Universe Today.

More at http://bit.ly/1oar7Bp
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Spaceships and sunspots! Maximilian Teodorescu of Magurele, Romania captured this photo of the ISS as it transited the solar disk right in front of the new sunspot groups AR12104/12107. This transit is very exciting for The Sun Today because of one of the current crew members of the ISS. Reid Wiseman is a former high school classmate of our own Virtuallinda - Web Design & Social Media Training for the... and Reid is a friend to our friends Romeo Durscher, Camilla the Space Chicken and NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory (Little SDO). It is always exciting when many worlds come together. And this is a really cool image to boot! Enjoy! credit: Maximilian Teodorescu and spaceweather.com
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blah blah to negativity....wasting breath to explain this to you, but what I wrote was from a 1980s song by The Police called, "King of Pain".
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Sunspot rise over Brisbane, Australia. Stephen Mudge took this photo of the spot riddled sun rising over the city. Mudge said, "After taking some sunspot images yesterday afternoon, I was thinking that it would be nice to capture the spotty Sun at sunrise, and then I thought it would be even nicer if that sunrise was behind the city buildings. So after a bit of time studying Stellarium and looking at maps, and then a quick reconnaissance drive, I settled on Green Hill Reservoir as a suitable location for a photo shoot."  credit: Stephen Mudge and spaceweather.com
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Active region AR12113 produced an M1.2 solar flare peaking in X-rays at 00:26 UT (July 9, 2014) credit: NASA/SDO/GOES/helioviewer
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An M-class solar flare is underway from sunspot group AR12113. Here is a snapshot from SDO and a line plot of the X-ray flux measured by GOES. ~M6.5 flare.
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ISS and the sun again! Maximilian Teodorescu of Romania caught the the International Space Station (ISS) in conjuncton with sunspots groups AR12104 and AR12107. "This is my first attempt to catch the station with a small-sensor camera at high magnification," he says. "I managed to catch the ISS in three frames."

Maximilian's wife Eliza was right beside him with her own camera and solar filter, and she caught it too. "The moment was all the more spectacular because the ISS path was almost parallel to the very numerous string of sunspots," she notes.

credit: Maximilian Teodorescu and spaceweather.com
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Yikes
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Happy Fourth of July 2014! Today's sun is riddled with 13 sunspot groups. The 2 sunspot groups, AR12104/12107 in the bottom right of the central image (visible light image of the sun), are growing in complexity and have the potential to produce some solar fireworks today. The newest region on the far left, AR12109 also has potential for activity. There is a good chance for C-class activity in the next 24 hours. This set of 3 images starts on the left with an SDO/AIA 304 angstrom image (showing 40,000-80,000 Kelvin plasma), an SDO/HMI continuum image (visible light showing the photosphere), and an SDO/AIA 335 angstrom image on the right (showing ~2.5 million Kelvin plasma.) credit: NASA/SDO/helioviewer 
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Love it

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Persistent Saturnian Auroras - Are Saturn's auroras like Earth's? To help answer this question, the Hubble Space Telescope and the Cassini spacecraft monitored Saturn's South Pole simultaneously as Cassini closed in on the gas giant in January 2004. Hubble snapped images in ultraviolet light, while Cassini recorded radio emissions and monitored the solar wind. Like on Earth, Saturn's auroras make total or partial rings around magnetic poles. Unlike on Earth, however, Saturn's auroras persist for days, as opposed to only minutes on Earth. Although surely created by charged particles entering the atmosphere, Saturn's auroras also appear to be more closely modulated by the solar wind than either Earth's or Jupiter's auroras. The above sequence shows three Hubble images of Saturn each taken two days apart. Credit: J. Clarke (Boston U.) & Z. Levay (STScI), ESA, NASA http://1.usa.gov/1yZT1sh
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I'm definitely moving to Titan! Any chance to view those Aurorae!
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Solar Facts and Space Weather
Introduction
A source for facts about the sun and daily updates on the sun's current activity for the public. More info: www.thesuntoday.org
Biography
I study the sun. My friends and family have always been excited by my work. In particular, they are especially interested because the Sun feels real and tangible. Of all the many interesting astrophysical objects in the universe the sun is the one object most people can feel through its light and heat. I have always enjoyed sharing my bit of knowledge about the sun with my friends, family and the public at large.

The explosion of social media gave me a perfect way to share my information and the information of others about the sun in a fresh and dynamic fashion. To leverage these new resources I envisioned a central website on which to share and organize the exciting past and present knowledge about the sun and its relationship to our lives. 

The main website, www.thesuntoday.org, connects to other social media sources like Google+, Facebook, twitter and YouTube in order to provide a broad reach to share rich and dynamic content.

I was joined by the other members of The Sun Today team, Ryan Milligan and CamillaSDO (www.facebook.com/NASA.Camilla.SDO) to bring you special guest postings. Linda Schenk (www.virtuallinda.com) works behind the scenes on design & strategy. Together we have been able to provide our fans with stories about past solar events and solar history as well as images and video of the current sun’s activity.

We have now been able to make my initial idea become a reality withwww.thesuntoday.org. It serves as the central hub and it connects to TheSunToday at Google+, FaceBook, Twitter and YouTube. We look forward to your questions and your comments. We hope to continue to share our love of solar physics with the growing Sun Today community. 

Enjoy!
-Alex Young