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New Service from NOAA - Real-Time Solar Imaging

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the we-burn-our-retinas-so-you-don't-have-to dept.

Science 13

InfoSec writes "I was checking out the National Weather Service in the US earlier and I noticed a new feature added to their site.... Near real-time solar imaging!!! The images are VERY kewl. Does this mean that we'll soon be predicting solar events?"

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First "who gives a shit" post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5709463)


Not entirely live... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5709549)

I've heard there's a delay of 8 minutes or so.

More Imagery at NASA SOHO Site (4, Informative)

GSearle (40628) | more than 11 years ago | (#5709709)

If you want to see a lot more realtime solar imagery, go to the SOHO [] web site. This is a satellite installed at the Lagrange point between the Earth and the Sun. It's bristling with sensors, all dedicated to watching the Sun.

Re:More Imagery at NASA SOHO Site (1)

dnahelix (598670) | more than 11 years ago | (#5712859)

Yes, and if you go to [] you can get sign up for emails about solar events and increased auroral activity.

hmm... (2, Informative)

C21 (643569) | more than 11 years ago | (#5710167)

that depends on who you mean by "we". Amateur astronomers already predict solar events, such as when we're entering a coronal hole, when high radiation is going to hit. Mostly they predict these kind of things so they can catch auroras, but some of it is just purely scientific, as well. There's sun watch groups you can join.

more (3, Informative)

barakn (641218) | more than 11 years ago | (#5710862)

The SXI data has been available for weeks. It replaces x-ray images which were on the Internet for years from the Yohkoh satellite until it saw one too many eclipses [] and spun out of control [] in Dec. 2001. Other near-real-time (or at least daily) images of the sun can be found in numerous [] places [] : SOHO and SXI are not the only sources. And there already are predictions [] of solar events.

Have you heard of NOAA? (4, Informative)

Orne (144925) | more than 11 years ago | (#5711286)

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA [] ) already tracks "space weather". Check out this Primer [] for a good introdcution about what we already know.

Why is this important? Whenever the Earth's magnetosphere is hit by a solar storm, the change in magnetic field induces a DC ground current in the metal in the earth. For most applications, this has no effect. For the bulk power grid [] , this is significant -- this DC current seeps into the grid through ground taps, and can damage AC systems. Because the (very) high voltage equipment depends on (very) low currents, these fluctuations can be enough to damage transformers and cause problems on a state-wide scale.

Aaaarggh ! (1)

Tomun (144651) | more than 11 years ago | (#5711989)

I can't see ! I can't see.

Shouldn't there be some kind of warning ?

Celestia (2, Interesting)

Picass0 (147474) | more than 11 years ago | (#5712981)

At the risk of looking like a blatent karma-whore, this would make a great source for real time celestia [] texture maps!!!

Check this image: (1)

ballpoint (192660) | more than 11 years ago | (#5713543)

Spooky ! []

If the link doesn't work try viewing an image from 2003-04-11 at +/- 03 hours.

Soon the cover-up will not be possible! (1)

teridon (139550) | more than 11 years ago | (#5714650)

Real-time imagery of the aliens cannot be denied! I mean, it is clear that this image [] shows two huge drumsticks aliens are using to play our sun.

Solar images & space weather (1)

dave_co (665468) | more than 11 years ago | (#5716007)

This thread is down my alley, so to speak. The US official "Space Weather" (i.e. solar-terrestrial data, predictions, aurora, solar images) site is - to see current conditions go to SOHO data/images are very much operational - a quick link is on the front page at It is an aging research satellite with a limited lifetime. The new operational SXI data/images (at X-ray / EUV wavelengths) developed at NOAA/Space Environment Center are delayed several minutes or more due to telemetry/data processing constraints - but that is easily quick enough to be considered 'real time'. SEC has been providing solar-terrestrial predictions for years - but the enormous complexity of solar-terrestrial physics and lack of remote sensors severely limit the accuracy (it would be like trying to predict the temperature in Miami from weather instruments in Colorado with 1955 technology) - but new advances are rapidly changing this (within the constraints of severe gov't budget cuts). "Space Weather" - e.g. solar variabilty and solar wind/geomagnetic effects have significant effects on satellite drag and radiation survivability, radio communications, electrical power grids, and many other areas.

Technically speaking (1)

sQuEeDeN (565589) | more than 11 years ago | (#5717253)

Technically it's not realtime, seeing as it takes about 6 (?) minutes for light to travel from the sun to the earth. Hah!
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