Field Notes: The Polar Field Services Newsletter

Solar Flares

Through Ed Stockard’s View Finder

The aurora borealis viewed through Ed's fisheye lens.

Ed wrote on Monday with the good news that a big sunspot erupted over the weekend, sending solar radiation toward Earth. Sunspots fire the aurora, which has been extremely active, making Ed extremely happy.

The aurora rises over town, as seen from the Kangerlussuaq International Science Support ("KISS") building. Photo: Ed Stockard

From http://spaceweather.com:  BIG SUNSPOT: The sudden emergence of big sunspot 1045 over the weekend has caused a sharp uptick in solar activity.  The active region has produced three M-class and almost a dozen C-class solar flares since it appeared on Saturday.  The strongest blast, an M6-class eruption on Feb. 7th, may have hurled a coronal mass ejection toward Earth. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras in the nights ahead as a result of this activity. Also, ham radio operators are picking up strong solar radio bursts using shortwave receivers.  Sample sounds and images may be found at http://spaceweather.com.

Another view of the aurora. Photo: Ed Stockard