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 Greatest Hits
June 18 - 21 2015 -- Fun in the Sun
View a movie of the coronal structure images from GOES-15 SXI June 18-21 2015: webm

July 1 - 14, 2012 -- Thowing Sparks

View a 14 day SXI movie that includes this spectacular event, subsampled every four images for this exposure sequence: webm, mp4, wmv
View a 03 day SXI movie that includes all images taken with this exposure sequence: webm, mp4, wmv

Sun enthusiast Kai Sävke and his friend Ruth created this movie from the NGDC SXI archive, enjoy it on YouTube.


June 5, 2012 -- Transit of Venus

The transit of Venus officially began at 2012-06-05 22:09 UTC and ended at 2012-06-06 04:49 UTC.
The view from GOES-15 SXI is unique in that it shows Venus passing in front of the Solar Corona, making the transit nearly 2 hours longer.

View a two day SXI movie that includes the transit: webm, mp4, mpg

NOAA Visualizations Lab also generated an SXI video, see it on YouTube.

See other images of the Venus transit taken around the world in this Wikipedia article.

March 21, 2012 -- Extreme Space Weather Events

Will we ever again witness the violence in space weather that occurred in 1989?
Unsure what that means? This collection of plots will help.

Cycle 22 Began Sep 1986
March 1989 pdf  
September 1989 pdf  
October 1989 pdf  
March 1991 pdf  
June 1991 pdf  
Cycle 23 Began May 1996
July 2000 pdf  
November 2001 pdf  
October 2003 pdf  
January 2005 pdf  
September 2005 pdf  
December 2006 pdf  
Cycle 24 Began Jan 2008
March 2012 pdf  
Cycle 24 Max April 2014

Compare the August 1972 event (pdf) to the October 1989 event (pdf) using Cosmic Ray observations only.

Read more about the August 1972 event in UAG-28:

  • part I: Summaries, Solar Optical Data, Solar Radio Data.
  • part II: Space Observations, Cosmic Rays, Ionosphere
  • part III: Ionosphere (cont), Geomagnetism, Aeronomy and Miscellaneous.


A similar plot, displaying the latest 14 days, is updated hourly. It may be a long wait for the next big event, but don't be caught bare headed!

Note #1: Energetic ions that penetrate Earth's electromagnetic and atmospheric defenses typically have enough energy remaining to then continue miles into solid rock.

Note #2: Small circles on the plot time-scale indicate when the satellite/station is at local noon (open) or midnight (filled).

Solar Flares
Coronal Mass Ejections
Solar Proton Events -- source of all ground based station data used above.
Galactic Cosmic Rays
Ground Level Events
Forbush Decreases and galactic influences on our weather?1 2
Access and plot data from historic Cosmic Ray Events
Particle Event List

NPR March 15, 2012: Raging Sun Storms In Our Minds.
See how artists interpret what scientists say:

The scientists are Janet Luhman (who goes first), Bill Abbett, David Brain and Stephan Mende.

March 4-17, 2012 -- Flares and Such

View a stack plot of the space environment March 4 - 17, 2012 or see the big picture in a 108-day plot covering Januray 1, 2012 to April 17, 2012.
Cosmic ray data in these plots from Moscow station show a drop in levels (Forbush Decrease) caused by the passage of a CME.

POES radiation maps -- due to a ground processing outage these data are not available February 29, 2012 - March 8, 2012.
The plots below are three-day, 2º bin, sliding means that combine data from the entire 6-satellite constellation:

POES Electrons February 26 - 28
> 300 MeV Electrons Feb 26 - 28
poes Electrons March 9 - 11
> 300 MeV Electrons Mar 9 - 11
poes Electrons March 28 - 30
> 300 MeV Electrons Mar 28 - 30

View a movie of SXI images March 4 - 17, 2012 in the format of your choice: webm, mp4, mpg.
The cadence of SXI movies can be affected by changes in the SXI exposure sequence that take place when an event is in progress.

Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory (LMSAL) provides an events page containing a plethora of details, March 4-10, 2012.

June 30, 2011 -- New SXI Movie Products

If you use Mozilla Firefox 4, Opera 10.60, or Google Chrome 6 please try the WEBM versions, no plugin is required. You will find that they load faster, play smoother, and are generally of higher quality than the others.




Regeneration occurs each day around 1400 UT.
No plants or animals were harmed in the making of these movies.

These products were made possible by the tireless volunteers at FFmpeg and the WEBM project.

Sample movie showing a lunar eclipse and C4.1 flare: ( sxi_g15_cs_20110601.webm, sxi_g15_cs_20110601.mp4, sxi_g15_cs_20110601.mpg )

Sample movie showing eruptive prominence and M1.1 flare: ( sxi_g15_cs_20110910.webm, sxi_g15_cs_20110910.mp4, sxi_g15_cs_20110910.mpg )

View a summary plot of the latest 14 days or 108 days using time-averages or the latest 3 days of full resolution data from GOES-15.

April 5, 2010 0948 UT Galaxy-15 Anomaly -- root cause of the anomaly was not identified by the operator.

The failure time used in these plots is the time when Intelsat noticed that Galaxy-15 was not responding to commands, since commands can be weeks apart it is uncertain when the failure actually occured, see Galaxy-15 wiki page.

April 3, 2010 GOES-13 SXI Flare Sequence: 20100405_Galaxy15_SXI_10fps.mpg
April 3, 2010 GOES-13 SXI Flare Sequence combined with whole disk X-rays from XRS: 20100405_Galaxy15_SXI_XRS.mpg
April 3-5, 2010 GOES-11 SEM summary plot: g11_g14_custom_re_galaxy-15_20100403-00h_20100405-24h.pdf
April 3-5, 2010 GOES-14 SEM summary plot: g14_custom_re_galaxy-15_20100403-00h_20100405-24h.pdf (Millions of vectors, quicker display via this JPEG)
March 28 - April 15, GOES-14 SEM summary plot: g14_custom_re_galaxy-15_20100328-00h_20100415-24h.pdf
April 1, 2010 - April 30, 2010 POES >30 KeV global radiation map movie orthographic north: poes_201004_mep90e1_orthographic-north_6fps.mpg (source images .zip)
April 1, 2010 - April 30, 2010 POES >30 KeV global radiation map movie cylindrical: poes_201004_mep90e1_cylindrical_6fps.mpg (source images .zip)
April 5, 2010 0948 satellite local time for Galaxy-15 and GOES fleet: SLT_chart_galaxy15.jpg (full size)

Quicktime no longer supports MPEG video very well, if QT is your browser's default video player download the movies and watch them with something else like Windows Media Player or VLC media player.


December 2006 Flare Activity

An exceptionally active solar region (930) rotated onto the solar disk at a time when solar cycle 23 was theoretically approaching minimum levels.

On December 5th 2006 at 10:18 UT region 930 generated an X9 flare that can be seen in both the sequence of GOES-13 SXI images (pdf) and in the plot of GOES Space Environment Monitor data. Region 930 continued to generate flares over the ensuing two weeks and resultant ion storms were also recorded by GOES. One such storm had sufficient energy to be recorded at ground level by neutron monitoring stations.

GOES 13 SXI sustained damage to several pixels of its detector while observing this X9 flare event. The source of the damage was the large X-ray flux of the flare convolved with the observing sequence. At the time, the susceptibility of the detector to radiation damage was not well understood or constrained. The type of damage affects 8 lines of pixels across the CCD and is unlikely to recover. Operational constraints and updates to on-board observing sequence software will enable the SXI to continue its mission without further damage to its detector. The impact on observations and prediction is currently being assessed as the new sequence software and operational constraints are developed. In addition, ground algorithms will be developed to minimize the appearance of the 'lost' lines through interpolation or other means.

Read about other impacts of this flare:
Solar Flares Ate My GPS

For further information contact Dr. Steven Hill ( with NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center.

GOES-13 Deep Coronal Images
GOES-13 Deep Exposure thumbnail

The GOES-13 SXI is substantially more sensitive than the GOES-12 instrument and has much less internal light scattering. This allows for very 'deep' or long exposures of the Sun's outer atmosphere known as the Corona.  Collecting these images requires intervention by NOAA’s Satellite Operations Control Center since the special pointing is done by maneuvering the entire GOES-13 platform.  The Coronal portion of the images is a mosaic of four individual 8-second exposures taken over a 30 minute span.  

The dramatic version on the left was generated at NGDC using a non-linear color table to enhance faint detail.

P_thin_ext_cor.png (The version of this image to the left has been stylized using a non-linear color table.)

For further information contact Dr. Vic Pizzo ( with NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center.


GOES-13 SXI First Light
GOES-13 SXI First Light thumbnail

The first image from the GOES-13 SXI was taken  July 6, 2006 15:11:18 UTC.

GOES-13 SXI/XRS Movie Prototype
SXI_KIOSK_V1 Thumbnail

This data visualization prototype was created as a possible means of browsing large volume data sets. The real-time data ingest model for GOES-N will permit this product to be tested in a real-time environment. The movie linked here combines SXI data with the classic XRS ( whole disk X-ray sensor) data. The search for innovative data products is supported in part by the GOES-R Risk Reduction program.

SXI_PROTOTYPE_20031031_000222_BB_G12_CS1_04D.MPG (10.3 MB MPEG-1, 29 seconds)
SXI_PROTOTYPE_20031031_000222_BB_G12_CS1_04D_JPG.ZIP (105 MB zip archive of 989 JPEG source images)
SXI_PROTOTYPE_20031031_000222_BB_G12_CS1_04D.JPG (Sample single image.)

SXI Kiosk Movie
SXI_KIOSK_V1 Thumbnail

This movie contains images and footage of GOES-12 and SXI from launch to operations. It has been shown at the NOAA booth at many conferences.

SXI_KIOSK_V1.MPG (104 MB MPEG-2, 2 min 30 sec.)

Note, if you save an MPEG-2 file to disk, your browser may try to add a .mp3 extension.

January 2005 -- Martin Luther King Storm

Solar active region 0720 rotated onto the east limb on January 10th and put on a pyrotechnic display uncharacteristic for this phase of the solar cycle before disappearing beyond the west limb on January 23rd. On January 15th this region released the first of five X-class solar flares. The last of those flares, January 20th, was associated with an extraordinary ion storm whose effect reached Earth's surface.

The movies below perfectly illustrate the cause-and-effect relationship between intense solar activity and satellite disruptions. The flares on January 17th and 20th are closely followed by noise in the SXI telescope resulting from energetic ions penetrating SXI. Ions with sufficient energy and atomic number can penetrate satellite components and deposit charge along their path. Sufficient charge deposition can introduce erroneous information into solid state memory devices. The common term for this is Single Event Upset (SEU), and the classic example of their occurrence comes from the operational history of TDRS-1.

An overview plot of this solar storm can be seen in a specially prepared GOES Space Environment Monitor plot.

GLEs are enhancements in ground based neutron monitor counts that occur when solar ions with sufficient energy (>400 MeV/nucleon), strike the upper atmosphere and initiate a nuclear cascade that reaches Earth's surface.

X-rays from the January 20th X7.1 flare began to arrive at 0636 UT, enhanced energetic ion levels began at 0650 UT. Therefore, the fastest ions traveled the Earth-Sun distance (150 million km or 93 million miles) in approximately 22 minutes, indicating a speed approximately 40% that of light.

Mo Dy Begin Max End Reg# Lat CMD X-class
Jan 15 0022 0043 0102 0720 N14 E08 X 1.2 Ion Storm
Jan 15 1947 2007 2028 0720 N15 W05 X 2.6 Ion Storm
Jan 17 0659 0952 1007 0720 N15 W25 X 3.8 Ion Storm
Jan 19 0803 0822 0840 0720 N15 W51 X 1.3 Ion Storm
Jan 20 0227 0636 0701 0726 N14 W61 X 7.1 Ion Storm, Ground Level Enhancement

SXI_20050114_000000_BB_G12_AR2_08D.MPG (13 MB MPEG-1, 27 sec.)
SXI_20050114_000000_BB_G12_AR2_08D.MP2 (13 MB MPEG-2, 27 sec.)
SXI_20050114_000000_BB_G12_AR2_08D_JPG.ZIP (52.9 MB zip archive of 803 JPEG source images)

This high cadence sequence covers only January 20th. These X-ray images show both the eruption of the flare and the resultant relativistic ions smashing into SXI & GOES-12 like bugs on a windshield.
(11 MB MPEG-1, 23 sec.)
SXI_20050120_000000_BB_G12_AR2_01D.MP2 (11 MB MPEG-2, 23 sec.)
SXI_20050120_000000_BB_G12_AR2_01D_JPG.ZIP (45 MB zip archive of 703 JPEG source images)

Note, if you save an MPEG-2 file to disk, your browser may try to add a .mp3 extension.

June 8, 2004 -- Venus Transits the Solar Disk

This transit of Venus is the first in 122 years. In SXI images, Venus appears as a dark disk about 1/30th the Sun’s apparent diameter. Since the Sun’s corona extends well above the disk, Venus was visible in silhouette for approximately 9 hours, versus the 6 hours seen from Earth. The path across the disk is from the southeast to the southwest.

These movies were created from a special image set generated by NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center.
SXI_SPECIAL_20040608_VENUS_09H.MPG (1.9 MB MPEG-1, 0.7 sec.)
SXI_SPECIAL_20040608_VENUS_09H.MP2 (3.8 MB MPEG-2, 0.7 sec.)
SXI_SPECIAL_20040608_VENUS_09H_JPG.ZIP (53.4 MB zip archive of JPEG source images)

Note, if you save an MPEG-2 file, your browser may try to rename it with a .mp3 extension.

The Great Halloween Solar Storm of 2003

A series of solar active regions unleashed an extraordinary display of solar activity in October and November of 2003. These solar storms disrupted airline communications and GPS and disabled the ADEOS-II satellite.  GOES X-ray sensors saturated at X17 during the November 4th flare but estimates of the actual peak range from X28 to X45 which made this the largest flare ever recorded.

You can view the affects in the near-Space Environment in plots of the GOES Space Environment Monitor data. These plots show the series of significant flare events from October 19th through November 5th which included 17 flares of class M5 or above, 11 of these were X-class flares.

Mo Dy Begin Max End Reg# Lat CMD X-class
Oct 19 1629 1650 1704 0484 N08 E58 X 1.1
Oct 22 1947 2007 2028 0486 M 9.9
Oct 23 0819 0835 0849 0486 S21 E88 X 5.4
Oct 23 1950 2004 2014 0486 S17 E84 X 1.1
Oct 24 0227 0254 0314 0486 S19 E72 M 7.6
Oct 26 0557 0654 0733 0486 S15 E44 X 1.2
Oct 26 1721 1819 1921 0484 N02 W38 X 1.2 Ion Storm
Oct 26 2134 2140 2148 0484 M 7.6
Oct 27 0921 0927 0932 0486 S16 E26 M 5.0
Oct 27 1227 1243 1252 0486 S17 E25 M 6.7
Oct 28 0951 1110 1124 0486 S16 E08 X17.2 Ion Storm, Ground Level Enhancement
Oct 29 2037 2049 2101 0486 S15 W02 X10.0 Ion Storm, Ground Level Enhancement
Nov 02 1703 1725 1739 0486 S14 W56 X 8.3 Ion Storm, Ground Level Enhancement
Nov 03 0109 0130 0145 0488 N10 W83 X 2.7
Nov 03 0943 0955 1019 0488 N08 W77 X 3.9
Nov 04 1929 1953 2006 0486 S19 W83 X28.0 Ion Storm
Nov 05 1046 1052 1056 0486 S16 W90 M 5.3

The GOES-12 SXI was not operational during the first of these large events, due to the ongoing diagnosis of a power system anomaly. However, on October 28th SXI was reactivated at 1633 UT. The noise in the images at the beginning of this movie are due to energetic particles from the October 28th and 29th solar ion storms.
SXI_SPECIAL_20031028_163326_BB_G12_CS1_09D.MPG (17.5 MB MPEG-1, 27 sec.)
SXI_SPECIAL_20031028_163326_BB_G12_CS1_09D.MP2 (13.2 MB MPEG-2, 27 sec.)
SXI_SPECIAL_20031028_163326_BB_G12_CS1_09D_JPG.ZIP (58.9 MB zip archive of JPEG source images)

Movies made from POES energetic particle sensor data show how this sequence of solar storms affected Earth's radiation belts.

This movie uses a high cadence of images over a two day interval, October 28-29, to highlight the exchange of solar material between region #0486 (southern hemisphere) and region #0488 (northern hemisphere).
SXI_SPECIAL_20031028_163326_BB_G12_CS1_02D.MPG (16.8MB MPEG-1, 15 sec.)
SXI_SPECIAL_20031028_163326_BB_G12_CS1_02D.MP2 (10.5MB MPEG-2, 15 sec.)
SXI_SPECIAL_20031028_163326_BB_G12_CS1_02D_JPG.ZIP (62.5 MB zip archive of JPEG source images)

This movie starts on October 31st, and highlights the final six days of this active interval.
SXI_SPECIAL_20031031_000222_BB_G12_CS1_06D.MPG (11.4 MB MPEG-1, 21 seconds)
SXI_SPECIAL_20031031_000222_BB_G12_CS1_06D.MP2 (13.8 MB MPEG-1, 21 seconds)
SXI_SPECIAL_20031031_000222_BB_G12_CS1_06D_JPG.ZIP (50.5 MB zip archive of JPEG source images.)

Carrington Rotation #2006

This is a 27 day movie that begins August 3, 2003 and shows one complete rotation of the sun -- Carrington Rotation #2006.
SXI_SPECIAL_20030803_181324_BB_G12_CS1_27D.MPG (16.3 MB MPEG-1, 31 seconds)
SXI_SPECIAL_20030803_181324_BB_G12_CS1_27D.MP2 (23.2 MB MPEG-1, 31 seconds)
SXI_SPECIAL_20030803_181324_BB_G12_CS1_27D_JPG.ZIP (56.5 MB zip archive of JPEG source images.)

Carrington Rotation #2003 & 2004

This is a 27 day movie that shows two complete rotations of the sun side-by-side -- Carrington Rotation #2003-2004.
SXI_SPECIAL_CR2003_CR2004_BB_G12_CS1_27D.MPG (15.4 MB MPEG-1, 21 seconds)
SXI_SPECIAL_CR2003_CR2004_BB_G12_CS1_27D.MP2 (18.4 MB MPEG-1, 21 seconds)
SXI_SPECIAL_CR2003_CR2004_BB_G12_CS1_27D_JPG.ZIP (83.3 MB zip archive of JPEG source images.)

Flaring "sigmoid" region, large coronal hole, eruptive prominence, etc.

This is a 24 day movie that begins May 25, 2003.
SXI_SPECIAL_20030525_000000_BB_G12_CS1_24D.MPG (10.7 MB MPEG-1, 38 seconds)
SXI_SPECIAL_20030525_000000_BB_G12_CS1_24D.MP2 (13.8 MB MPEG-1, 38 seconds)
SXI_SPECIAL_20030525_000000_BB_G12_CS1_24D_JPG.ZIP (70.3 MB zip archive of JPEG source images.)

This is similar to the movie above, but focuses on the disk passage of the flaring "sigmoid" region.

This is a 10 day movie that begins May 25, 2003.
SXI_SPECIAL_20030523_000000_BB_G12_CS1_10D.MPG (7.6 MB MPEG-1, 12 seconds)
SXI_SPECIAL_20030523_000000_BB_G12_CS1_10D.MP2 (10.7 MB MPEG-2, 12 seconds)
SXI_SPECIAL_20030523_000000_BB_G12_CS1_10D_JPG.ZIP (23.9 MB zip archive of JPEG source images.)

Bullet Movie made during post launch testing, prior to light leak problem.

This is a 6 day movie that begins December 11, 2001.
SXI_SPECIAL_20011211_000000_BB_G12_CS1_06D.MPG (11.4 MB MPEG-1, 15 seconds)
SXI_SPECIAL_20011211_000000_BB_G12_CS1_06D.MP2 (13.8 MB MPEG-2, 15 seconds)
SXI_SPECIAL_20011211_000000_BB_G12_CS1_06D_JPG.ZIP (60.4 MB zip archive of JPEG source images.)

Bullet Coronal Hole Movie - Two Solar Rotations (~54 days).

This movie was created from images taken with SXI in the OPEN (unfiltered) configuration. The images were deconvoluted, as described in the example above. The sequence spans approximately two solar rotations -- 2001-10-19 00:03:44 to 2001-12-05 22:13:09. Coronal holes appear dark.

This movie was produced by Dr. Steven Hill, the SXI project manager at NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center.

View the movie. (3.6 MB MPEG, 15 seconds)

Bullet Coronal Mass Ejections Movie w/Coronagraph- One Day.

This sequence spans one day (2001-10-22). The SXI images are displayed in tandem with the coronagraph images from the LASCO C2 instrument onboard SOHO. The movie shows the relationship between X-ray flares viewed by SXI and the resultant effect on the extended corona.

This movie was produced by Dr. Steven Hill, the SXI project manager at NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center.

View the movie. (3.5 MB MPEG, 6 seconds)

Begin Max End Region Lat CMD X-class
0022 0040 0048 9658 N17 W57 M1.0
0344 0359 0423 9669 N14 W12 C6.8
1136 1141 1145 9672 S18 E19 C5.6
1205 1217 1230 9669 N11 W19 C7.5
1427 1508 1531 9672 S21 E18 M6.7
1744 1759 1814 9672 S18 E16 X1.2
2057 2106 2114 C7.9

Bullet SXI vs. SXT Comparison, Large Scale View of Small Flare - Four Hours.

This sequence spans approximately four hours (2001-11-21 13:18 to 2001-11-21 16:53). The SXI images are displayed in tandem with images from the SXT instrument onboard Yohkoh. The movie shows a zoomed view of region 9704 as it produces a small (C4.7) flare.

This movie was produced by Dr. Steven Hill, the SXI project manager at NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center.

View the movie. (.2 MB MPEG, 2 seconds)

Begin Max End Region Lat CMD X-class
1207 1458 1650 9704 S14 W19 C4.7

Bullet Image enhancement using deconvolution and multi-image composite.
SXI deconvoluted thumbnail.

To address the wide dynamic range of features on the sun, it is sometimes necessary to combine two images, one short exposure and one long exposure, into what is known as a composite image. The overexposed regions from the long exposure are replaced with those properly exposed from the shorter exposure. In addition, all optical instruments have a natural 'blurring' or point-spread function. A composite image is particularly amenable to removal of the point-spread function of the instrument. This is done by a mathematical process called deconvolution.

This prototype was produced by NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center, and may become a standard SXI data product.

View a "before and after" pair of images. (2001-19-19 23:11:46)

September 7, 2001 -- First released SXI image.
SXI first image thumbnail.

This X-ray image of the Sun was taken by the SXI instrument onboard GOES-12 on September 7, 2001 at 21:04:25 Universal Time.