Coming Around the Bend (September 18, 2009)
A large active region that appears to be rotating into view as it approaches the edge of the Sun from the STEREO (Behind) spacecraft (Sept. 15-16, 2009) has the attention of solar physicists. It can observe part of the Sun that we cannot yet see here at Earth. Also, evidence from the GONG mission, which does far-side imaging of the Sun, has detected this large active region. Their data seems to suggest that his might be the largest active region we have seen so far in this very quiet new solar cycle. We should be able to begin to directly observe it around Sept. 20 and see for ourselves what it is all about. It is located about 30 degrees South latitude, making it definitely a new solar cycle region. The movie and still images come from the lower-level "first look" data from STEREO, which is only available at 512 x 512 pixels. Thus, the image frames lack good detail.
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.
If your institution would also like to receive the same Weekly Pick from us for display (usually in Photoshop or QuickTime format), please send your inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.