Slow Fused Flare (August 18, 2006)
Hi-res TIF image(1.9M)
The sunspot was dark and fairly large; the area above it twisted and flickered and sputtered for days on end. After watching Active Region 904 ever since the Sun rotated it into view on August 9, 2006, it finally popped off a modest (C-class) flare and associated coronal mass ejection (CME) on Aug. 17 when it had rotated into a location nearly facing directly at Earth. In ultraviolet light the video clip and still (taken at 22:12 UT, a few hours after the flare) show a sudden brightening and series of white arcs just after the flare that peaked at 16:17 UT. The arcs are probably post coronal loops.
The coronagraph images from SOHO of the event show a CME cloud that appears to be headed towards us here at Earth, meaning that some aurora can be expected around August 18th. You can check for images from amateur solar photographers and updates on news on aurora at http://spaceweather.com.
SOHO began its Weekly Pick some time after sending a weekly image or video clip to the American Museum of Natural History (Rose Center) in New York City. There, the SOHO Weekly Pick is displayed with some annotations on a large plasma display.
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