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December 15: The Evolving Sun

     
  December 15: The Evolving Sun  
  The Evolving Sun  
 

 

Click on the above image to download a pdf poster showing the evolving Sun as observed by SWAP

 

 
 

Just as sunspots follow an 11-year activity cycle, so too does the more extended corona. SWAP started regular observations of the corona in early 2010, when the solar cycle was at a minimum, and has tracked the evolution of the corona in extreme ultraviolet (EUV) as the cycle has begun to approach maximum. During that time the Sun passed through several periods of increased activity — at the end of 2011, for example — and periods of relative quiet. The poster linked above shows dramatically how the corona has changed from uniform to dynamic, narrow to extended, and dim to bright over the three-year observation period. We are still waiting to see whether another outburst of activity will occur soon, or whether true solar maximum passed relatively quietly.

The PROBA2 Science Center team has been showing this poster, which also hangs just outside the door of the PROBA2 Science Center, at various meetings throughout 2013, most recently at European Space Weather Week 10, in Antwerp, Belgium. Unfortunately, many more people have asked for copies than we have been able to print so far this year. So as a small holiday gift from the P2SC team to you, we invite you to make your own PROBA2 poster. The PDF linked above contains the full-resolution SWAP poster and can be printed at high quality at large poster sizes by anyone with access to a poster printer.