A solar explosion from an unexpected area of the Sun observed by AIRA

On March 13, 2023, during AIRA's solar patrol, we observed a spectacular phenomena - a filament eruption, followed by an C3.1-class flare. A C-class flare is a medium-sized flare that releases energies from 10−6 to 10−5 W/m2 (for peak flux range at 0.1-0.8 nm), an energy that would be equivalent to one 100 W light-bulb emitting light for more than 6 days.

AIRA's solar patrol data is observing the solar full disk in white light and Halpha every day the weather conditions permit, and the data is available at http://solar1.astro.ro/~solar/observations.html. The instrument is a refractor – Carl Zeiss Jena refractor 80/1200 mm with an Halpha filter (Solar Spectrum S-1.5 (0.3A)), while the CCD camera used is an Atik11000 (4008x2672 px, 0.009 mm, 16 bit).

The observed filament eruption was not associated to any active region on the Sun's surface, such as defined by NOAA and can be found at https://www.solarmonitor.org/, and was located at N27E07 (Carrington coordinates). The filaments’ length, before the eruption, was ~250000 km.

A filament eruption as captured by the AIRA's telescopes in Romania. Credits: Cristian Dănescu
Asteroid 2023 CX1 as observed from Romania, Berthelot Observatory, AIRA. Credits: Dr. Dan Alin Nedelcu, Dr. Adrian Șonka

Asteroid 2023 CX1 entered Earth's atmosphere

On the morning of February 13, 2023, the small asteroid 2023 CX1 entered Earth's atmosphere, 7 hours after discovery. Its former provisional name was SAR2667.

The asteroid was observed for two hours from Berthelot Observatory - The Astronomical Institute of the Romanian Academy, the last observation being recorded 20 minutes before impact.

In the image, the asteroid is visible as a streak which crosses the image from bottom right to the top.

The estimated diameter of this celestial body was about 1 meter.

Desegregation of this object took place north of Le Havre (France) and its debris fell over France and in the English Chanel.

Romania's telescopes watch the Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF)

The Astronomical Institute of the Romanian Academy, Cluj-Napoca Observatory, is currently taking telescopic images for subsequent study of the comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF), popularly known as the ”Green Comet” due to the specific green glow of its nucleus. The Romanian team of astronomers lead by Senior Researcher I Dr. Vlad Turcu is using for this purpose the AROAC T08 sensor and the Orion ShortTube80 refractory telescope together with the CCD SBIG STT1603 camera, and other scientific equipment as well.

The exposures were done at 2 seconds intervals and the time frame between two consecutive frames was 130.5 seconds.

The coordinates of the center of the image are:

RA 2000: 05h 03m 57.9s

DEC 2000: +42deg47arcmin28.7arcsec

Pixel size: 9.24arcsecx9.24 arcsec

FOV: 118.23 arcmin x 78.78 arcmin

Position angle: 351.33 deg from North

The Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) as seen from the Cluj-Napoca Observatory of AIRA
Larger than Earth Sunspot

Huge Sunspot

Solar activity has recently significantly increased! Many solar flares, coronal mass ejections, etc. have been seen during the last few weeks. This is a consequence of the fact that the number of active region has increased.

larger than Earth Sunspot was observed on the Sun on January 19, 2023. It is so large that it can be visible with a pair of eclipse glasses!

The white light image was taken at the Bucharest Solar Observatory of the Astronomical Institute of the Romanian Academy.


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