Northern Lights Now – The late September geomagnetic activity resulting from a large coronal hole has exceeded initial expectations reaching G3 storm levels and helping aurora hunters world-wide capture staggering views. Solar wind speeds have been between 650 and 750 km/s for just over 24 hours now. Periods of high density and negative Bz, and quickly fluctuating Bz during that time pushed KP values above 6.67 for several hours.
The timing worked well for aurora hunters from Northern Europe across Northern North America. Clouds disrupted viewing in the UK and New England, but many locations saw vivid displays of Green, Red and Purple overnight.
Wendy T shared this great set of 4 images
Thanks Everyone. Heres' a few from last night (not off back of camera but straight off!) Fingers crossed for more tonight.. pic.twitter.com/zr7IEKeyGA
Northern Lights Now – Quick Update: The expected coronal hole high speed stream arrived with a bang. KP levels have reached G2 and the forecast calls for KP=7.33 in the next hour.
Aurora reports have been streaming in from Northern Europe and Iceland over the last couple hours. As the Sun sets across Eastern North America, expect additional reports to come in from the Northern United States and Canada.
Northern Lights Now – A G3 storm watch is in effect for September 6 and 7 thanks to a solar storm launched from an Earth-directed solar eruption at active region 2673. Aurora hunters are expecting a mid-latitude display. Northern Lights Now will keep you up to date on the latest information in this live blog. We’ll be updating regularly, so come back often.
NLN Live Blog Update – Wed, Sept 9, 04:45 UTC (00:45 EST 9/9) Live blog time: 72h 45m
Whew! What a storm. There were two distinct periods of G4 storming in the last 36 hours. The first was timed well for North American aurora hunters and the second for our Europeans followers. This was a treat, especially for this late in the solar cycle.
The core of both CMEs has now passed and the magnetosphere should start to settle down. There still may be a couple more G1/G2 substorms in the next 24 hours, but the event is coming to an end. Thank you all for reading along and sharing your photos. Please follow NLN on Twitter and on Facebook and sign up for our email list to learn about the next storm when it comes.
NLN Live Blog Update – Wed, Sept 8, 22:00 UTC (16:00 EST 9/8) Live blog time: 68h 00m
Bz continues to be south and wingKP is indicating G4 storming is going on again now. IF you have clear dark skies go out aurora hunting!
NLN Live Blog Update – Wed, Sept 8, 15:15 UTC (11:15 EST 9/8) Live blog time: 63h 15m
In the last update we mentioned that it looks like another CME core is coming through. It is here now and G4 storming is happening again. Tell your friends to go out and look at the sky if it’s dark and clear! Please share this info and help your friends get a chance to see the aurora for themselves.
NLN Live Blog Update – Wed, Sept 8, 12:15 UTC (08:15 EST 9/8) Live blog time: 60h 15m
What a night! There were two periods of G4 storming before the Bz shifted as Earth exited the core of CME. Aurora hunters from Europe to Central North America got a show.
But wait there’s more! In the last update we mentioned the possibility that there may be another CME core arriving soon. About 45 minutes ago it did as shown in the solar wind data. With Bz this strong south, we are now expecting another round of at least G3 storming over the next 1-4 hours.
NLN Live Blog Update – Wed, Sept 8, 05:30 UTC (01:30 EST 9/8) Live blog time: 53h 30m
There are interesting questions about the future geomagnetic activity of this storm. The IP shocks from both the M5.5 and the X9.33 flares have now arrived. In a regular solar storm, the shock arrives and is followed soon after by the core or body of the CME. In this case, the cores of both CMEs have interacted. This is a very complex, and low confidence, forecast. The bottom line is: We might see another round of G3 storming as the body of the X9.33 CME arrives, or the body of the CME may miss Earth and it might be over. Best thing to do is watch the Bz which, by the way, just flopped back to negative. If Bz stays negative, our west coast US followers and Australia/New Zealand followers may get a show tonight.
NLN Live Blog Update – Wed, Sept 8, 02:45 UTC (22:45 EST 9/7) Live blog time: 50h 45m
Epic Aurora going on! G4 storming is logged and continues. Bz shifted back to the south, so it may slow for a bit now. Check out this small sampling of images coming in: