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CIR and Coronal Hole Bring Quick Burst of Aurora to Northern Europe Sept 14, 2017

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Northern Lights Now – The expected G1/G2 storming from the coronal hole pointed towards Earth on Sept 11 arrived late on Sept 13. It induced a period of fast solar wind, strong Bt and G2 storming. The timing was good for our aurora hunting followers in Northern Europe who had clear skies.

Boulder Recorded Planetary K shows two periods of G2 storming in last 15 hours.
Boulder Recorded Planetary K shows two periods of G2 storming in last 15 hours.

At the onset of the storm, Bz was strongly (-15 to -18 nT) south for over half an hour at the beginning of the storm, which set up Earth’s magnetosphere to be highly activated. This means that any additional strong wind, high density, or prolonged negative Bz can quickly jump the KP back into G1/G2 range.

Bz and Bt are strong and favorable at the onset of the storm.
Bz and Bt are strong and favorable at the onset of the storm.

Here are a couple Tweets share with NLN from tonight’s storming

From the Nidderdale in northern Yorks by @HudsonWeather

From Christopher Suarez in Iceland

It is still possible that there could be additional storming. Keep your eyes on the Solar Wind Data. If there is a prolonged people (more than 45 mins or so) of negative Bz, there could be another round of storming.

Note: The current storm is likely the last for a while. There are now active regions that pose M or X class flare threats on the Sun and the next Coronal hole isn’t expected to reach Earth until late September. Make hay while the Sun shines!

Happy Hunting

Sept 6-10 Aurora G3 Storm 2017 – NLN Live Blog pt3

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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.

This is part 3 of 3, check out the other links:
Live Blog Sept 6-10 Part 1
Live Blog Sept 6-10 Part 2

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.

Two periods of G4 storming in the last 36 hours. The storm is now settling down.
Two periods of G4 storming in the last 36 hours. The storm is now settling down.

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.

Second round of G4 aurora is expected to start in about 30 minutes.
Second round of G4 aurora is expected to start in about 30 minutes.

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.

From the Finnish Lapland:

From Edinburgh Scotland

Michigan:

And holy cow look at the color in this panoramic from Scott Rock in Ontario

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.

Bz shows we should expect another round of aurora coming midday Sept 8 UTC
Bz shows we should expect another round of aurora coming midday Sept 8 UTC

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:

Sept 6-10 Aurora G3 Storm 2017 – NLN Live Blog pt2

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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.

This is part 2 of 3, check out the other links:
Live Blog Sept 6-10 Part 1
Live Blog Sept 6-10 Part 3

NLN Live Blog Update – Wed, Sept 7, 21:00 UTC (17:00 EST 9/7)
Live blog time: 45h 00m

BOOM! X9 flare CME interplanetary shock has arrived and it is bringing with it a deep negative Bz of -23nT. This is what we’ve been waiting for. Hope it is clear and dark where you are.

Solar Wind Bars show Strong Wind, Bt and neg Bz last 15 minutes.
Solar Wind Bars show Strong Wind, Bt and neg Bz last 15 minutes.
Interplanetary shock prompts major shifts in all wind parameters.
Interplanetary shock prompts major shifts in all wind parameters.

NLN Live Blog Update – Wed, Sept 7, 21:00 UTC (17:00 EST 9/7)
Live blog time: 45h 00m

Such a roller coaster. Bz shifted back south and ground based magnetometers are responding. Aurora could be dancing now.

NLN Live Blog Update – Wed, Sept 7, 20:00 UTC (16:00 EST 9/7)
Live blog time: 44h 00m

Bz switched back north. Any storming that started will end. Back to wait and see mode for the X9.33 flare CME arrival. This is why it is so rewarding when you do actually get to see an Aurora display.

NLN Live Blog Update – Wed, Sept 7, 18:15 UTC (14:15 EST 9/7)
Live blog time: 42h 15m

Bz has stayed negative since the last update. Aurora reports should start coming in from across Northern Europe as sunset arrives. WingKP is currently underestimating – KP is likely already at G1 levels. It isn’t unusual for KP to under-estimate at the beginning of storms due to the fact it is a neural net and the input is only added once every three house. Ovation is a better guide at the moment.

Ovation shows there is likely G1 storming going on now.
Ovation shows there is likely G1 storming going on now.

Full disclosure – the data doesn’t 100% line up. We’d expect ground based magnetometers to be jumping around at this point. There is an outside possibility there is bad data coming from L1 leading us astray. Proof will be in the pudding when aurora images come in.

NLN Live Blog Update – Wed, Sept 7, 15:30 UTC (11:30 EST 9/7)
Live blog time: 39h 30m

Bz just shifted sharply to the south. Time to watch the KP – should reach G1 shortly. It’s likely that Austrailia, NZ will see aurora before WingKP model reacts to this shift.

KP shifts decisively to the south.
KP shifts decisively to the south.

There was also another X class flare just now reaching X1.39

NLN Live Blog Update – Wed, Sept 7, 12:00 UTC (08:00 EST 9/7)
Live blog time: 36h 00m

36 hours into the storm watch period and KP=4 is the highest level of activity recorded so far. This is a good time to remind fellow aurora hunters that there is not yet a way to forecast the orientation of the magnetic fields in a solarstorm until it arrives. Forecasters can estimate the time of arrival and the magnitude of the storm at arrival, but if the orientation is not conducive to aurora, there won’t be a show. The first Phase of this storm was like that, it arrived within 9 hours of prediction and as strong solar wind and disturbed Bt, but Bz did not show any sustained negative orientation.

SWPC Boulder reported geomagnetic activity maxes at KP=4 so far.
SWPC Boulder reported geomagnetic activity maxes at KP=4 so far.

In the next 8-12 hours, watch for a surprise Bz negative period and for EPAM to start rising again in advance of the arrival of the CME from the X9.33 flare.

quick mea culpa: in the last update I posted the EPAM, it was late and the end of an active day of forecasting. It did not actually show EPAM still rising, I didn’t notice that the data had cut off from the chart about 4 hours from before the post until this morning. Sorry about that, and thanks to the eagle eyed readers who pointed it out!

NLN Live Blog Update – Wed, Sept 7, 04:30 UTC (00:30 EST 9/7)
Live blog time: 28h 20m

It’s NLN’s last live blog update for tonight, check back tomorrow. Leaving you with this image from EPAM. The fact that EPAM data are still up and to the right indicates that there is another CME arrival on it’s way. This aligns with the initial post 7:15am ET post yesterday morning – “Third, there may be a second shock and a new phase of Bz as a second, slower, CME arrives.”

EPAM is up and to the right indicating another incoming CME
EPAM is up and to the right indicating another incoming CME

NLN Live Blog Update – Wed, Sept 7, 04:30 UTC (00:30 EST 9/7)
Live blog time: 28h 20m

Quick update, possibly the last this evening. Bz has been mostly north over the last two hours, but it has dipped south again for the last 20 minutes. This may indicate we’re entering the next phase of the storm. If this keeps up, KP could start to climb. Hard to predict, just have to keep an eye on the data:

Ba has dipped south again over the last 20 minutes.
Ba has dipped south again over the last 20 minutes.

If you get nice photos that you are willing to share please post them to Twitter and tag the NLN account and/or post to Facebook and tag our FB page. Also – if you aren’t already, please follow and like those accounts!

NLN Live Blog Update – Wed, Sept 7, 02:00 UTC (22:00 EST 9/6)
Live blog time: 26h 00m

First round of negative Bz is happening. Wing KP responds by predicting KP=5 in 54 minutes. If Bz stays south another 10 or 15 mins, it will be go time for people in G1 range.

Bz now showing negative reading. KP should jump soon.
Bz now showing negative reading. KP should jump soon.

The first reports we’ve seen of Aurora came in from iceland with photos by long time follower and aurora hunter Muhammed Kizilkaya as the IP shock arrived at Earth about 2 and a half hours ago

NLN Live Blog Update – Wed, Sept 7, 00:45 UTC (20:45 EST 9/6)
Live blog time: 24h 45m

The CME arrived about 90 minutes ago. There may have been a first round of aurora with the initial shock, but the Bz has been positive since the arrival. In order for there to be a big show of northern lights the Bz will have to shift to negative. All solar wind metrics are strong at the moment Bt=15.35 nT, Density=15.1 p/cm3, Solar wind around 600km/s.

CME arrives at DSCOVR with a Interplanetary Shock.
CME arrives at DSCOVR with a Interplanetary Shock.