NLN Aurora Briefs – February 2, 2015

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Happy Groundhog Day. With solar wind exceeding high end expectations of 550-650km/s and reaching the high 700s, the G1 storm watch finally came through on it’s potential. Solar conditions last night reached G1, and stayed there for three 3-hour reporting windows. Solar wind is expected to stay high, so SWPC has continued the G1 watch for another day. This image sums up last night:

chart of K-index showing 9 hrs of G1 storming
Planetary K index reporting by SWPC Febrary 2, 2015

On the Sun, there were no M-class flares, but AR2277 continued to grow, and there was a large CME. The CME was back-sided and will not impact Earth.

For today’s featured tweet, and excellent Aurora picture from Delta Junction Alaska.

NLN Aurora Briefs – February 1, 2015

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It’s February! Day two of the current 72 hour G1 geomagnetic storm did not produce the anticipated KP=5, but it has been close. As predicted, solar winds have been upwards of 400km/s most of the day. It still seems likely the the first part of February 1 will produce a KP reading at or above 5. As of 1:00AM EST, Solar wind is at 473 km/s, Bz just shifted negative, and proton density has increased to over 5 p/cm3.

The Moon is close to full and has been making it harder to see Aurora tonight. The light from the moon, especially reflecting off the snow means slightly higher than normal KP will be needed to see the Aurora than normal.

Featured tweet is a gorgeous green aurora with reflection shared with us from Imágenes Universales @universoPic by way of Joanie MacPhee @JoanieGentian

NLN Aurora Briefs – January 31, 2015

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SWPC has extended the G1 Geomagnetic Storm watch through February 1. Earth’s magnetosphere continues to be under the influence of high speed solar wind from the southern coronal hole. High latitude aurora are likely to continue and there’s a chance for aurora at upper mid-latitudes.

Wind speed to Aurora alert lead times table
Solar wind speed determines how much lead time you have to see aurora

We posted the above table to the Northern Lights Now Twitter accounts (@northlightalert) earlier today. When the solar wind is strong there is less time between when a solar storm hits the ACE satellite and when it hits Earth. Thus, strong wind (like in the current storm) means less lead time between when a KP alert is announced and when the Aurora displays. So be ready.

You can track the current KP on our live KP page.

Today’s Featured Tweet: The first aurora image we saw from tonight’s storm.