Ssshhhh - Quiet Sun at Work (Jul 4, 2008)
The sun is in the doldrums. As we can see from a review of the past week (June 27 - July 1, 2008), the sun is resting comfortably at solar minimum. The clips shows the sun in extreme ultraviolet light at the 195 Angstrom wavelength, an excellent wavelength for seeing activity above the sun's surface. However, the new solar cycle of activity does not seem to be getting started. The average solar cycle lasts about 11 years. This cycle was expected to have shown more activity by now. But it has remained in this generally very quiet mode for many months. Although one can observe some small changes on the Sun over the week, we see no major changes. As the sun rotated, we saw no active regions, no solar storms, few prominences or filaments, and just one or two coronal holes (which appear as darker areas). Sooner or later this minimal level of solar activity will get off the bottom and start its curve upwards, but for now we can only bide our time and wait.
SOHO began its Weekly Pick some time after sending a weekly image or video clip to the American Museum of Natural History (Rose Center) in New York City. There, the SOHO Weekly Pick is displayed with some annotations on a large plasma display.
If your institution would also like to receive the same Weekly Pick from us for display (usually in Photoshop or QuickTime format), please send your inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.