The Sun

Here is a look at the Sun taken yesterday by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). Not much going on as you can see.

The bright area are associated with small sunspots, we just can’t see the spots yet. Notice the spots are near the equator, will we get to see the spots as they rotate into a more advantageous viewing position? Maybe or maybe not. We are nearing the bottom of the solar cycle and sometimes spots can last for a while and sometimes they can emerge and disappear quite rapidly.

At this stage of solar cycles we would expect to see sunspots emerge closer to the equator and in this image we see nothing towards the poles. Keep an eye on the sun and eventually we will see new spots forming at high latitudes both north and south. For now the spots are indeed coming into being at low lattitudes. Sun is said to be not very active.

Does a quiet or non-active sun mean there should be no auroras? Not at all, but displays may not be very regular except at the polar regions and we are not considering coronal holes and solar winds which do add to the fun.

What about radio propagation? Not good. Ham radio operators looking for DX are longing for more activity – I know!

Where are we in the cycle? Below is the progression of the cycle through March.

Images: SDO / NASA / SWPC

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