Remember all that data analysis you’ve been doing for us? All those storms you’ve tracked in both archive and real time data have now been used to create an animation of what the Sun has been up to over the first three years of the STEREO mission. Over the summer, a student of mine, Amy Skelt, wrote a program to enable us to view your data analysis in a unique way. By taking all your CME tracking information and combining it with my analysis of smaller solar wind features, we can now create animations showing the activity of the solar wind throughout the first three years of the STEREO mission. Just in time for Christmas I’ve used Amy’s software to create a movie of the entire Stormwatch analysis so far. You can view the movie here;
It’s incredible! You can now see the constant stream of solar wind material as it erupts into space and even the spirals created as the various sources of solar wind rotate with the Sun. And when a solar storm erupts, you can see which planets are in the firing line!
We’ve had to make some assumptions about the rate at which the solar storms expand and so any differences between this movie and the real world will help us understand how realistic our assumptions are. Amy made the software very flexible so that you can view the solar system from a fixed point (as in the attached movie), from above or even from a moving object. You can even go for a ride on comet Encke and see how it fares as it rides the solar wind!
As usual, many, many thanks for your time and efforts so far. In the New Year my group and I at the University of Reading will be using your data analysis to investigate what we have learned so far about using STEREO HI data to make real-time forecasts. Working with the UK Met Office, we will ultimately be applying what we learn to improving the operational space weather forecasting model that they will be running. In the current climate, there is much talk of ‘impact’. I can confidently say that you are helping us with our impact. Both metaphorically and literally!
I hope that those of you that are about to celebrate Christmas have a wonderful holiday.
See you in the New Year for more Solar Storming!
I would like to know if there are min/ max time restraints on projects
When we’re confident we’ve analyzed the data enough we’ll issue some more data. Hopefully this will happen relatively soon 🙂 thanks for your interest.
This is fascinating! Great work. This really puts the efforts of everyone into tangible form. Thank you Chris and Amy!
I’m puzzled as to why Earth appears stationary when Mercury and Venus are moving.
This is very nice, but there are a couple of errors in one of the titles: the blobs are “plasma”, not “plamsa”, and in fact they really don’t follow the Parker spiral. Particles do, but the main bulk flow is radially away from the Sun, I believe.
Why does most of the action in the video appear to be directed Earthwards ?
Most of the action in the video appears to be directed Earthwards because of where the Stereo or another object is located. Therefore, if it close to the Earth it is most likely to face Eartwards.
commendable.. lovely.. fantastic.. thanks Amy