What an exciting time to be an Aurora hunter! After the storms from 6/22 we are now expecting a 1-2 punch, with more aurora possible Wednesday evening.
[UPDATE 4PM EST 6/24] The expected CME arrived Early, but weaker than expected and oriented the wrong way for northern lights. SWPC has downgraded the G3 watch to a G1 watch. Keep an eye on the KP, but it is unlikely this will be a big storm [END UPDATE]
Over the last 36 hours we have been treated to the second biggest aurora display of solar cycle 25, with G4 storming and KP reaching 8.67 and reading KP=8 or high for four hours. Aurora were reported as far south as North Carolina, and From from Europe to Vancouver. Aurora australis were reported on twitter from New Zealand:
— Ian Griffin (@iangriffin) June 23, 2015
The solar region that release the CME creating last night’s show released an additional CME associated with an M6.6 solar flare on Monday. This CME produced a full-halo (Earth-directed) signature on LASCO imagery. The CME was estimated to be traveling at a very fast 1047 km/s. As a result SWPC has released another G3 storm watch – the second this week, but only the 4th or 5th in the last several years:
As always with storms like this – it is still very difficult to know the impact of a storm until it arrives. The orientation of the cloud of plasma approaching Earth has to be just right to make northern lights. Yesterday’s storm was oriented with a negative Bz for almost the entire duration. It seems possible that because both CMEs came from the same active region on the sun, they might have the same orientation. Watch the 40-70 minute lead time live-KP to know your chances of seeing Aurora.