HI ho, HI ho, it’s off to work we go!

We’ve been meeting with various people lately who are all interested in using your data analysis in their research. As a result, I thought I’d update you on our plans.

Firstly, thanks to everyone who has been contributing to the real-time forecasting of space-weather events. With the spacecraft now heading towards the far side of the Sun from the Earth, I don’t know how much longer we will be able to forecast Earth-impacting storms so it’s great that we are able to hone our prediction skills while we can! This is all very useful information and will provide valuable insight into designing the follow-on solar missions that will attempt to provide on-going space-weather forecasts. In order to assess how successful we have been with our real-time forecasts, researchers at Imperial College in London will be scrutinising your clicks and comparing our predictions with those from the higher resolution science data. The real-time beacon is much lower in resolution than the science data (used in the trace-it and spot games) and we want to know if that affects our ability to make accurate forecasts. If it does, that is a strong argument to improve the resolution of future real-time space-weather missions. If not, then we can save money by sticking with what we have! Either way, we want to learn what we can from your analysis of the STEREO real-time data.

In addition to the real-time analysis, Neel Savani, one of our Stormwatch regulars, is going to analyse the science data from trace-it and produce some catalogues of the storms we have seen so far. With all your efforts, we should be able to not only provide estimates of speeds and directions but also look at how each storm expands as it travels out from the Sun.

… and what about the dust impacts? I hear you cry. Well, that paper is very close to being submitted but we’re still trying to understand exactly what’s going on there. I will be sure to let you know as soon as we find out!

Meantime, it looks like Neel could win the race for the fist stormwatch paper to be submitted. those of you who have been looking at the forum will have seen that Neel set up a mini-project asking you to look out for perfectly circular storms. Well, it seems he’s been busy preparing a publication on that too.

I haven’t mentioned some of the games here but don’t think that means we’re not using the data from them. We’re just starting to pick through the mountain of information. We’ll get to the others in good time.

In the next few months, we will see the fruits of your labours being put out to the sceintific community for scrutiny. Thank you all so much for your efforts, however much you have been able to do. It’s all much appreciated and we couldn’t have done any of this without you.



  1. I’m lost, what am I to do now?
    I played the games about seing the storms great fun. What now? I am retired. I can’t see the sun this time of the year. I need to make a newer better solar filter. tomorrow mabe.
    I have just made some good finders for easyly locating the sun. work well.

    1. Hi John,

      Thanks for your post and sorry for the delay in replying. Once you’ve done the training, you can start to analyse the data for real. Just log in and go to the “Spot and track storms” tab at the top right of the solar stormwatch page.


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