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Full halo coronal mass ejection (CME)

A large solar eruption (X1.5 solar flare) took place beyond the west limb beginning around 22:30 UTC (Jun 11). An energetic, full halo coronal mass ejection (CME) was observed by LASCO C3 shortly thereafter and is directed away from Earth. The source of this latest event was likely AR 3697 (ex 3664) (Source: https://www.solarham.com).



I. National Space Congress - Balatonfüred

On June 7, the 1st National Space Congress was held in Balatonfüred, at which we were able to welcome Jim Christensen from the Aldrin Family Foundation, the former director responsible for education at NASA, in addition to numerous Hungarian actors. We were able to meet and talk with Brigadier General Bertalan Farkas and our two future astronauts, Tibor Kapu and Gyula Cserényi.

The history of Hungarian space research goes back to Zoltán Bay's lunar radar experiment in 1946, which laid the foundations for the science of radio astronomy by using the reflected signals from the surface of the Moon by studying radar signals. In 1971, the first Hungarian space electronic device was completed, which was a micrometeorite detector. In the late 1970s, two excellent Hungarian fighter pilots, Bertalan Farkas and Béla Magyari, received astronaut training as part of the Interkosmos program. Among them, in 1980, Bertalan Farkas became the first Hungarian astronaut to conduct scientific research on the Szaljut-6 space station. With this, he founded the research workshops that still determine the main directions of Hungarian space activity today. Soon, we will again send a Hungarian research astronaut into outer space, who will carry out experiments developed by our scientists and engineers. Hopefully, this mission will inspire the young generation, many of whom will join the Hungarian space research community in the future.




Hungarian success at the Brno Film Festival!

Huge congratulations to our colleague Zoltán Kolláth, whose short film "The Color of the Night Sky" won an award in Brno as a result of his 5 years of persistent work!



Fulldome Festival Brno

The Brno Observatory and Planetarium is hosting the ninth year of the Fulldome Festival Brno. Taking place from June 4th, 2024 to June 6th, 2024 it will again offer its visitors with the newest content on the fulldome market from all around the world. The festival was filled with an extremely colorful and deceiving atmosphere! The participants are already preparing for next year's anniversary meeting! It is a matter of great pride that many Hungarian institutes and colleagues took part in the meeting, probably the biggest camp at the meeting.

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VII Békés County Meeting of Disabled Youth

This year too, we welcomed the participants from kindergarten to adults to Békés County Meeting of Disabled Youth with a planetarium. To our great delight, this year more people than ever came to see the planetarium. Both physically challenged and intellectually disabled young people threw themselves into the world of science with great enthusiasm. It was a pleasure to see how much they enjoyed themselves and rewarded each performance with huge applause. See you again next year!



The largest eruption of the current sunspot cycle has occurred (Időkép)

The X8.7 solar flare was not aimed at our planet.

At 18:51 on Tuesday evening, the Sun produced an event even more intense than the eruptions of the past few weeks. The sunspot group 3664, which is responsible for the current eruptions, produced its largest eruption to date, including coronal ejection, which is also the strongest observed phenomenon of the current, 25th sunspot cycle. This is the largest eruption of the last 7 years, with a magnitude of X8.7. This is not long after the X9.3 event on September 7, 2017.


Astronomy lectures in Nagykanizsa

Our colleagues, Marianna and Robertus, gave promotional lectures in three locations in Nagykanizsa: the Elementary School in Kiskanizsa, the Informatics Faculty of the Pannon University, and the Battyányi High School. Finally, they visited the local astronomical observatory founded more than forty years ago by the engineer/amateur astronomer Vilmos Mihály in the PEN area to discuss future cooperation opportunities.

a) Interview for the city TV b) Lecture at the high school where Zoltán Bay was also "present" c) The elementary school students were extremely interested d)-e) The local observatory and its founder, Vilmos Mihály f) Discussion at the University with teacher Dr Szilárd Jaskó g) Presentation at Pannon University.


There was an unprecedented aurora borealis in our country (National Geographic)

Several successive solar flares crowded together and caused a geomagnetic storm on our planet not seen for more than 2 decades.


On the night of May 10/11, 2024, the aurora borealis became visible from the twilight period and was visible - intermittently - until dawn, which we can safely say: whoever managed to observe it had one of the most beautiful experiences of his life.


23 May, Gyula - VII Békés County Meeting of Disabled Youth

The "Békés County Meeting of Disabled Youth" event series looks back on many years of tradition. Encouraged by the great success of the previous year, the meeting will be held again this year, now for the 7th time. Also this year, the Hungarian Solar Physics Foundation and Utazó Planetarium Kft. will jointly ensure that young people - in addition to other programs - get to know the world of the planetarium.



An Interview with Peter Tepe. The interview begins with the story of how Sándor Barics’ connection between art and science came about and the impetus for further development he gained during his art studies in New York. Attending an event about Mars then changed his artistic position: the MARS series was created. Its artistic concept is elaborated. Finally, the sunspots series is treated in a similar way.


The article is available in English here: w/k Between Science and Art


Research Night 2024

As in previous years, the "European Researchers' Night" event will be held this year with the support of the European Commission on Friday, September 27, and Saturday, September 28, 2024. As a result of the support, joining the website and registering for the programs is also free this year. The programs will be available from September. As in previous years, the Hungarian Solar Foundation will join the event this year as well!


Congratulations to Anett!

Exploring Spatial and Temporal Patterns in the Debrecen Solar Faculae Database (The Astrophysical Journal)

Photospheric faculae are markers of the solar magnetic field, appearing as bright regions along the edges of granules on the Sun's surface. Anett Elek et al., using data from the Debrecen Solar Faculae Database, investigated the spatiotemporal distribution of photospheric faculae between 2010 May 1 and 2014 December 31 and found the following. (i) At lower latitudes, there is an enhanced abundance of faculae appearing as stripes at given Carrington longitudes, which are interpreted as indicative of the presence of active longitudes. (ii) At higher latitudes, we identified so-called crisscross patterns of facular appearance. These patterns are likely the result of faculae in regions situated along the boundaries of supergranules. Last but not least, (iii) various periods of oscillatory phenomena were identified in this facular data set, including a longer periodic range consistent with the quasi-biennial oscillations and shorter ones with periods of 4–12 days. Our findings are supported by the visualization of a simple heuristic thought experiment and more complex magnetohydrodynami simulations, strengthening the proposed interpretation of the three observed solar phenomena reported. (Source: NCAR HAO)



Total Solar Eclipse 2024

On Monday, April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse was visible over Mexico, the United States, and Canada. The total eclipse began in the South Pacific.




A popular theme in disaster movies is that a huge asteroid is approaching Earth, which will crash into us and wipe out our civilization. Fortunately, there is always a Bruce Willis who prevents this, but we cannot rest, because tabloids keep us constantly alert with the possibility of current collisions. With all of this, it is really worth turning our watchful eyes towards space, especially towards the Sun: everyday terror is unnecessary, but there is a chance that stronger solar flares and CMEs coming from there could also lead to global catastrophes. Which is mostly due to our technical development.


The article is available in Hungarian here: telex.hu


Planetarium Day 2024

The commissioning of the first planetarium projector (ZEISS Model I) took place on September 16, 1923, and one month later it was presented to official representatives in a non-public demonstration at the Deutsches Museum. The first public presentation took place in 1924 and went down in history as "The Miracle of Jena". On the occasion of the centenary, the International Planetarium Society (IPS) designated May 7, 2024 as Planetarium Day. In the anniversary year, on May 7th, 2024, we will thus celebrate the “birthday of the planetarium” for the first time on this date, which will be the 99th birthday of the planetariums. Since this falls on a weekday, we are organizing the public programs for May 11-12! The 100th birthday will of course follow on May 7th, 2025, which will at the same time be the conclusion and “main event” of the Centennial. The Hungarian Solar Foundation also joins the event.


International Planetarium Society

Centennial of the Planetarium


Hungarian Space Kaleidoscope 2023 was published!

The editorial board of Hungarian Space Kaleidoscope is pleased to report that the 2023/24 issue of Hungarian Space Kaleidoscope was published by the Hungarian Astronautical Society, with support from the Department for Space Activities of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the National Media and Infocommunications Authority. The aim of this publication is to provide insight into the diverse activities of the national space sector by showcasing small and medium enterprises, research centres and university workshops which are engaged in space research and space-related activities in Hungary.


The publication appeared in print, however, in accordance with the previous years’ practice, it is also available online and can be downloaded from the following link:

In Hungarian (Űrkörkép 2023/2024)

In English (Hungarian Space Kaleidoscope 2023/2024)

The PDF files (both in Hungarian and in English) will also be available at the site ofgovernment.


In January, the sun favored solar physicists - solar flares and sunspots hit each other

Sun activity archive for January 2024 (Source: earthsky.org)

January 31, 2024: Huge plasma column, 40 to 50 Earths long. We saw a huge jet of sun-stuff erupting from the sun’s southeast. This great column was made of solar plasma. It contains both particles and magnetic fields. It’s what interacts with the interplanetary environment of our solar system to create space weather. Today’s column of plasma extended 40 to 50 Earth-diameters into space! The GOES-R SUVI space telescope, which has a much wider field of view than the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), captured this massive blast, as seen in the images at the top of this post.

January 30, 2024: Double fun! Activity on 2 sides. Yesterday’s excitement of an M6.8 flare – with its corresponding solar particle storm at Earth – has extended. That big blast happened on the northwest solar limb. Hence AR3559 in the northwest is displaying energetic jets and huge loops of condensing plasma, aka coronal rain. These loops appear to have formed after the M6.8 flare, and so sun scientists call them post-flare loops. Meanwhile on the sun’s opposite limb – the side that’s now coming into view – we’ve seen a dancing prominence and accompanying jets of plasma. Double fun in the west and east!

January 29, 2024: Solar particle storm happening now. The departing sunspot region AR3559 released a huge eruption just over the sun’s northwest limb (edge) earlier today. The eruption produced a large brightening, an M6.8 solar flare, bringing sun activity levels to high. Large coronal loops rose up from the sun with an intense brightening. Then came a pop, as high-energy protons blasted away from the sun at near the speed of light. The bulk of the solar stuff flung into space should largely miss Earth, given its location on the sun’s limb (edge).

January 26, 2024: Bye-bye sunspot region AR3561. Farewell, AR3561. The region that gave us ten M flares in a single day has left the building – or, at least, rotated out of view. AR3561’s heyday is sadly over!

January 26, 2024. We’re firmly in SDO eclipse season now –
here’s Earth passing in front of the two large coronal holes we have been observing for the past two days.
AIA 193 angstroms. Image via SDO. (Credit: earthsky.org).

January 24, 2024: Hydrogen-alpha image of the sun featuring active regions AR3559 and AR3561

Mario Rana in Hampton, Virginia, captured this filtered image on January 24, 2024.
Mario wrote: “Hydrogen-alpha image of the sun featuring active regions AR3559 and AR3561. (Credit: earthsky.org).

January 22-24, 2024: Busy sunspot region AR3561 The AR3561 group displayed some intense activity over the past day, blasting 10 of the day’s 11 M flares, as well as 7 C flares. We also saw the active region gain several sunspots and develop a beta-gamma magnetic complexity, which means it has an increased potential for more C, M, and maybe even X flares.

The Earth-facing solar disk currently has seven numbered sunspot regions. Here’s a list of the M flares fired over the past 48 hours (all times UTC):

  • M1.1 by AR3559 at 19:24 on January 22 – R1 (minor) radio blackout over the South Pacific Ocean.
  • M1.3 by AR3561 at 19:32 on January 22 – R1 radio blackout over the South Pacific Ocean.
  • M2.0 by AR3561 at 19:47 on January 22 – R1 radio blackout over the South Pacific Ocean.
  • M3.4 by AR3561 at 21:21 on January 22 – R1 radio blackout over Fiji.
  • M1.6 by AR3561 at 21:43 on January 22 – R1 radio blackout over Fiji.
  • M2.1 by AR3561 at 22:22 on January 22 – R1 radio blackout off the northeast cost of Australia.
  • M5.1 by AR3559 at 3:31 on January 23 – R2 (moderate) radio blackout over Australia.
  • M2.4 by AR3561 at 8:22 on January 23 – R1 radio blackout over the east coast of Madagascar.
  • M2.4 by AR3561 at 9:30 on January 23 – R1 radio blackout over the east coast of Madagascar.
  • M1.0 by AR3561 at 12:58 on January 23 – R1 (minor) radio blackout over the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean,
  • M1.0 by an unnumbered region in the northeast at 13:08 UTC – R1 radio blackout over the South Atlantic Ocean,
  • M1.3 by AR3561 at 14:59 on January 23 – R1 radio blackout over the east coast of Brazil,
  • M4.3 by AR3561 at 16:40 on January 23 – R1 radio blackout over Chile,
  • M1.0 by AR3561 at 18:28 on January 23 – R1 radio blackout off the west coast of Chile,
  • M1.1 by AR3561 at 18:44 on January 23 – R1 radio blackout over the South Pacific Ocean,
  • M1.0 by AR3561 at 19:52 on January 23 – R1 radio blackout over Easter Island,
  • M1.0 by AR3561 at 20:01 on January 23 – R1 radio blackout over Easter Island,
  • M1.1 by AR3561 at 00:38 on January 23 – R1 radio blackout over Fiji,
  • M2.7 by AR3561 at 1:40 on January 24 – R1 radio blackout over the northeast coast of Australia,
  • M1.4 by AR3561 at 5:43 on January 24 – R1 radio blackout over the South Indian Ocean.

January 21, 2024: CME on its way. Aurora expected! The coronal mass ejection (CME) from yesterday’s on-disk filament eruption is on its way to Earth. The CME may have several parts spreading out the impact from mid-to-late January 22. Both NASA and NOAA expect the impact to start sometime around 11 to 13 UTC on January 22. First the initial shock … then the bulk of the impact should arrive. So the geomagnetic storming – and the aurora – are expected late January 22, and into early January 23. NASA is estimating G1 to G2 geomagnetic storms. Meanwhile, NOAA currently estimates a G1 storm. Aurora may be seen in U.S. states as far south as Iowa, Washington, Illinois, New York, and in Europe as far south as Denmark, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Poland. Aurora in the southern hemisphere may be seen as far north as New Zealand and Tasmania.

January 20, 2024: Double blast from the sun The sun released two massive, nearly simultaneous ropes of solar plasma earlier today (around 8:40 UTC on January 20). Both are in the east, one from the eastern limb (edge) and the other just to the west of it on the solar disk. Both giant ropes of sun stuff are called erupting filaments. Both produced coronal mass ejections (CMEs). Given their locations, the CMEs most likely don’t have Earth-directed components.

January 16, 2024: Huge prominence, and more action incoming Last night we saw a huge prominence erupt from around the solar south pole. This rope of plasma and magnetic fields came from the far side of our star, and measured at least 200 Earths long! The GOES-16 spacecraft observed it at around 22:04 UTC on January 15, and the SOHO spacecraft detected a corresponding coronal mass ejection (CME) at 0:12 UTC this morning. We also saw long-lasting prominences on the east limb, where activity remains strong. This indicates that activity is coming our way from the east, but it has not yet rotated onto the Earth-facing solar disk.

SDO’s twice-yearly eclipse season began today. Here’s a 4-panel view of the sun,
as it got partially blocked by Earth – from SDO’s perspective – for about 20 minutes.
This SDO eclipse season will last through February 10. (Credit: earthsky.org).

January 14, 2024: It’s a rainy sun day


1) This image shows sun activity – with the most active regions labeled – as of 7 UTC on January 14, 2024. Original image, without labels, via NASA SDO. Courtesy of NASA/SDO and the AIA, EVE, and HMI science teams, with labeling by EarthSky. 2) Mario Rana in Hampton, Virginia, captured this filtered image on January 13, 2024. Mario wrote: “Hydrogen-alpha image of the sun with many active regions, and some nice filaments and prominences.” (Credit: earthsky.org).

January 12, 2024: 4 M flares on the road to Solar Max! From 11 UTC yesterday to 11 UTC today the sun produced four M flares! Worth mentioning is active region AR3538, producer of two M flares the day before yesterday, and lead flare producer over the past day as well. The sun’s rotation is now carrying it out of view, on the northwest limb. Its departure is making the northwest portion of the sun look fiery! In the meantime, more action seems to be coming our way. The east limb looks very active, too, from just around the corner to the far side, the side we don’t normally see from Earth. Here’s a breakdown of the Ms:

  • M1.4 by AR3538 at 12:51 UTC on January 11. R1 (minor) radio blackout over mid-South Atlantic Ocean.
  • M1.5 by AR3539 at 17:52 UTC on January 11, the largest. R1 (minor) radio blackout over South Pacific Ocean off west coast of Chile.
  • M1.2 by AR3538 at 19:23 UTC on January 11. R1 (minor) radio blackout over South Pacific Ocean over Easter Island.
  • M1.1 by AR3547 at 2:58 UTC on January 12. R1 (minor) radio blackout over Australia.
Lead flare producer was active region AR3538, which blasted out seven total flares, the two Ms included. It was closely followed by AR3539, producer of six flares, the largest M of the period included. The sun now has nine labeled active regions on its Earth-facing side. There is a newcomer on the northeast quadrant, now numbered AR3547.

January 8, 2024: Final flash from AR3534 The largest flare was a C8.8, from AR3534. The sun’s rotation has now carried AR3534 just over the sun’s western limb (edge). Not all of the C8.8 flare was visible to us. It was partially occulted (blocked) by the sun. That’s why the flare appeared so bright in SDO images, but isn’t measured as larger on the GOES flare intensity scale.

January 6, 2024: Our hero of the week, AR3536 Sunspot region AR3536, now famous as the producer of the biggest X flare of the solar cycle so far – an X5 blasted on December 31 – is still going. It produced the most flares over the past day, albeit only C flares.

January 4, 2024: Sunspot region AR3536 is going strong Recent X flare producer AR3536 has maintained its promising flare activity, releasing back-to-back M flares early this morning. The largest of the two, an M3.9 flare, produced a fast jet of plasma and a coronal mass ejection (CME). We await further analysis to see if the CME has an Earth-directed component. AR3536 is currently rotating toward a more geoeffective position, meaning it will soon be in a prime position to send CMEs toward Earth.




Astronomy Picture of the Day

On NASA website (https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/), each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. (Source: NASA)

Dragon Aurora over Iceland (Image Credit & Copyright: Jingyi Zhang & Wang Zheng).

Have you ever seen a dragon in the sky? Although real flying dragons don't exist, a huge dragon-shaped aurora developed in the sky over Iceland in 2019. The aurora was caused by a hole in the Sun's corona that expelled charged particles into a solar wind that followed a changing interplanetary magnetic field to Earth's magnetosphere. As some of those particles then struck Earth's atmosphere, they excited atoms which subsequently emitted light: aurora. Our active Sun continues to show an unusually high number of prominences, filaments, sunspots, and large active regions as solar maximum approaches.


Festive Northern Lights

The spectacular aurora borealis, or the “northern lights,” over Canada is sighted from the space station near the highest point of its orbital path. The station’s main solar arrays are seen in the left foreground (Source: SETI Institute)

(Credit: NASA).


In the final hours of Dec. 31, 2023, the sun launched its most powerful solar flare in 6 years. On Jan. 2, radiation from the blast may bring auroras to Earth's skies.

An official tracking model courtesy of NOAA/SWPC is now available for the X5.0 flare event. They are in fact calling for the extreme western edge of the associated CME to pass Earth by January 2nd. Geomagnetic storming will be possible should an impact be observed as predicted. (Source: solarham.net).

Even the sun is not above launching a few New Year's Eve fireworks, it seems. In the final hours of Dec. 31, 2023, satellites near Earth detected a gargantuan X5-class solar flare erupting from our star — ending the year with the single most powerful solar explosion seen since 2017.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the flare was accompanied by a gargantuan blob of high-speed solar particles known as a coronal mass ejection (CME), which may graze Earth's magnetic field today (Jan. 2), possibly triggering widespread auroras across the sky and minor geomagnetic storms. Typically, the best places to view auroras are near Earth's poles, but CMEs can push those auroras to much lower latitudes than usual.

Solar flares occur when magnetic fields on the sun become too tangled and snap like rubber bands, kicking up powerful waves of radiation that stream across space at high speeds. X-class flares are the most powerful type of solar flare, and they have been known to interfere with satellites, radio systems and power grids when the flares' accompanying radiation bursts pass over Earth.

The Dec. 31 X5 flare was the strongest of 2023, soundly beating an enormous X2.8 flare that launched from the exact same spot (AR 3536) on the sun on Dec. 14. At the time, that X2.8 flare was also declared the most powerful flare since Sept. 10, 2017, when a gargantuan X8.2-class flare erupted from the sun, according to NOAA.

Image of alert of the strong solar flare event. (Image credit: NOAA)(Source: livescience.com).

The New Year's Eve flare was also the strongest of the current solar cycle — solar cycle 25, which began in 2019 and is predicted to peak this year. The sun follows an 11-year cycle of activity, which reaches a peak called solar maximum about halfway through. Although the current cycle's peak was initially predicted to hit in 2025 and be relatively mild, an onslaught of solar activity in 2023 has prompted scientists to revise their predictions.

Solar maximum is now predicted to hit sometime in 2024. And if last year's intense solar activity is any indication, the peak will be a powerful one; in addition to these powerful flares, 2023 also witnessed the most powerful geomagnetic storm in 20 years, as well as a 20-year high in the number of sunspots observed in one month.


Magyar Napfizikai Alapítvány

Hungarian Solar Physics Fundation

Last update: 2023 May © Copyright HSPF 2017