Fireball over New Mexico. Photo:Mike Lewinsky
Todays sunspot number is 85, still low for this point in the cycle but a low count does not mean it can’t throw up a surprise or two.
Sunspots AR1817 and AR1818 are both growing in size and both pose a risk for M-class flares. AR1817 is Earth facing though not directly ‘square on’, and it has the beta-gamma-delta magnetic field required to produce X-class flares.
NOAA estimate the chance of an X-class to be 0.5% at this point, but the sunspot is growing and gaining strength all the time so this could be subject to change. Over the coming hours the spot will move into a position in the middle of the sun disc, where any flare will score a direct hit on the Earth.
The overall estimate for M-class flares is put at 30% over the next 24 hours.
There’s a large coronal hole on the earth side of the sun and the solar wind stream is set to buffet our magnetic field on August 16-17th.
The Perseid meteor shower which is the tail debris from the comet Swift-Tuttle put on a great show last night. Watchers counted upwards of 120 meteors an hour in the night sky.
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Contributed by Chris Carrington of The Daily Sheeple.
Chris Carrington is a writer, researcher and lecturer with a background in science, technology and environmental studies. Chris is an editor for The Daily Sheeple. Wake the flock up!