Category Archives: NLN Aurora Brief

NLN Aurora Briefs – February 9, 2015

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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.

Filament visible in AIA 304
A filament snakes from SW to NE across the Earth facing solar disk

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:

AR 2280 delta spot
Active Region 2280 with a delta spot show in HMI magnetogram

Today Featured Tweet: A beautiful sunset from the space station.

Happy Hunting

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