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Solar Page

This page summarises observations of the Sun received by the Section.

2004 March

MDF = 3.9                  RSN = 60                 150 observations

Sunspot activity was just a little higher than in February. During the first few days of the month there were only a few sunspot groups visible. In fact on the 4th NZT (3rd 12:50 to 4th 13:35 UT) four observers reported only one group: region 567. However two other observers reported 3 groups towards the end of this period; this may have been due partly to the fact that 567 was well spread out with some spots somewhat separated from the main cluster, and also to the fact that region 569, a C-class group, appeared on the disc around this time. On the 5th region 570 appeared around the east limb sporting a large h-type leader spot but over the next day or two it was seen to be a large F-class group. It was responsible for the M-level flare on the 6th. It was also responsible for most or all of the lower energy flares (C and B) until about the 16th. From about the 4th until very late on the 11th (UT) all spots were in the Sun's southern hemisphere. Region 572 was seen in the northern hemisphere as a faint Bxi group at 23:50 on the 11th and this developed into a D-class group. On the 17th when it was near the NW limb it produced a C1 x-ray flare with an estimated shock velocity of 1207 km s-1.

Over the next few days more groups appeared; some of them very close to the solar equator. Region 577 was situated right on the equator. Regions 574 and 578 were classed as E (occasionally as D or even F) but bore no particularly large spots. However each of them produced M1 flares on the 18th. On the 25th region 582 appeared around the east limb producing two M flares as it did so, and while two observers classed this as D or E, others classed it as C because one of its spots stood out as a large k-type. Its remaining spots were small. This remained the dominant group at the end of the month producing most of the C-level and many of the B-level flares for the rest of the month.

Graphs of Solar Activity

Three graphs of solar activity are presented here:

Amateur Solar Observers' Sites

Amateur Solar Observatory - "Schothorst" (Bob van Slooten - The Netherlands)
Jim Carlson's Solar Page (Jim Carlson - USA)
Franky Dubois' Sun Page (Franky Dubois - Belgium)
Joao Porto's Solar Page (Joao Porto - Portugal)
Robotic Solar Telescope (Mike Rushford - USA)
What's On The Sun (Lorraine Mencinsky - Australia)
Solar Observing (Peter Meadows - England)
Solar Observing, Drawings (Groenez Gunther - Belgium)

Amateur Solar Networks

A.L.P.O. Solar Section (U.S.A.)
CV-Helios Network (Norway)
GruppoSole (Italy)
The INTER-SOL Programme (ISP) (Paderborn, Germany)
SONNE - VdS Solar Section (Germany)

Solar Data and Resources

International Solar Terrestrial Physics (ISTP)
IPS Current Solar-Terrestrial Environment
Solar Data Analysis Centre (SDAC)
Solar Region and Coronal Hole Data
Solar Terrestrial Dispatch (STD)
Solar Terrestrial Physics (STP)
Space Environment Centre (SEC)
SEC Current Solar Forecast
SEC Current Solar Images
Sunspot Index Data Centre (SIDC)
The Sun (I)
The Sun (II)
Virtual Tour of the Sun

Solar Observatories

Big Bear Solar Observatory
Catania Observatory - Today's Solar Images
Culgoora Solar Observatory
Learmonth Solar Observatory
National Solar Observatory, Kitt Peak
National Solar Observatory, Sacramento Peak

Solar Spacecraft

Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE)
Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO)
Transition Region and Coronal Explorer (TRACE)

Bob Evans, Director, Aurora and Solar Section, RASNZ.
Last updated on 2004 April 23