Charles Baldridge a data scientist with a passion for studying space weather and chasing the northern lights. He has been lucky enough to see aurora in person on multiple occasions in his hometown of Burlington Vermont.
It has been a very quiet week on the Sun. After the large filament rotated off the western horizon, flux activity decreased to low. There were only a few small c-class flares.
Late yesterday and today, however we’ve seen a little activity. The CH HSS from a mid-latitude coronal hole arrived late the Feb 15 period. It brought negative Bz, and Bt above 10. Together, those pushed the KP values up to 4.
Aurora were reported in Northern Europe, and the North East US. As of 11:00pm Eastern time the Ovation Oval was showing high chances for Aurora at upper latitudes. At the same time, skies were clear in the Much of the northeast and Northwest united states. Here’s an image @northlightalert (follow!) posted to Twitter:
For today’s featured tweet, Northern lights were observed at Mount Washington Observatory:
In yesterday’s Aurora brief we mentioned that activity might be heating up. It did heat up, but not from either of the regions we featured. We experienced a long duration M2.24 flare from AR2282. NLN measured the decay rate on this flare at 1.6 (lower = more likely to produce a CME), and all indications are there will be a large CME from the eruption. We’ll have to wait on LASCO imagery to get confirmation, and to determine if it will be Earth directed.
NLN added a new feature to the site over the weekend. The KP chart on the upper right on this page and on the current Real-time KP page continuously refreshes. You no longer have to refresh the page to see current data.
Today’s featured Tweet is from HaloCME, with an excellent video of the likely CME from the M2.44 Flare:
The Sun has been fairly quiet over the last week, but there are hints that there may be some solar activity ahead. There is a huge filament that is stretching from the SW quadrant to the NE quadrant of the Sun. You can see it in the image below as the dark line snaking through the ligher areas in the SDO AIA 204 image from this morning. Much of this filament is facing Earth, if it erupts, we’d likely see a major Earth-directed CME.
The second hint that activity may be picking up is that AR 2280 has developed a delta spot. This region is rotating off the Earth-sun line, but could potentially produce a CME. If nothing else, it raises the chances there will be an M-class flare in the next couple days. Here’s the magnetogram with the region labeled:
Today Featured Tweet: A beautiful sunset from the space station.