Aurora Possible Wednesday evening:
If you experienced electrial interruption Tuesday it might have been Sunspot AR2371 . AR2371 has a ‘beta-gamma-delta’ magnetic field that harbors energy for X-class solar flares. June 22 and 23 there have been highly energetic Coronal Mass Ejections (CME’s) spewing particles and energy outward.
The effects can include power outages, radio and cell phone disruptions, and aurora.
Sunspots, areas of increased turbulence, appear as dark areas on the surface of the Sun because the material cools as the gases are whipped away from the Sun’s surface. A sunspot is related to a CME or Coronal Mass Ejection in that Sunspots often produce CME’s, which involve the ejection of highly energetic material away from the Sun’s surface. Some CME’s occur independent of sunspots.
Never look directly at the Sun and worse never point a telescope or binoculars at the Sun. Permanent eye damage can result from looking at the sun even once. There are special filters that allow safe solar viewing when used properly. Both Wagman and Mingo Observatories have telescopes especially equipped for solar observing and offer public observing of the sun prior to regularly scheduled star parties conditions permitting,
This active sunspot, an “Active Region” (AR), called AR2371 and it has produced powerful CME’s in the last two days making it a possibility for the Pittsburgh Area to see aurora.
To optimize your chances of seeing aurora, find a dark location. Look north, in the area of the North Star (Polaris), the last star in the handle of the Little Dipper. Use the Pointer Stars in the Big Dipper to find Polaris. Give your eyes a chance to adjust to the darkness and look for light in the Northern Sky. It may be colored or not. Often it is green. Often waiting until after the 11PM news concludes and folks turn out the household lights darkens the sky yields better results.
Keep up to date with more information on the AAAP Facebook Page and visit AAAP’s July 24 and 25 Star Parties, at Wagman and Mingo Observatories.. AAAP Monthly Meeting s resume in September.