Category Archives: NLN Aurora Brief

NLN Aurora Brief – November 3, 2015

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Aurora Brief Volume 3, Number 1 of 7
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Aurora Storm Update

The anticipated high wind stream associated with the coronal hole are later that expected. NOAA forecaster had been anticipated to arrive mid-day on November second but as of this writing, only the leading edges of the wind stream have arrived at the ACE satellites. They are still predicting that when the winds arrive they will be in excess of 800 km/s and when they do they could last as long as 12-18 hours. This should be strong enough and long enough for an extended period of northern lights activity.

Current today/tomorrow aurora forecast from NLN 3-day forecast
Current today/tomorrow aurora forecast from NLN 3-day forecast

Earlier on November 2nd, there was a shock passage measured at ace satellites with a very typical pattern. First the Bt increased from around 3-4 to 10 nT, next the proton density increased by almost 8 fold in three waves. On the third wave, the solar wind speed increased from 325 km/s to 410 km/s. Shortly after this (though not captured in the image below), the Bz shifted south. This was a short lived wave, but when the main high speed stream arrives, it may have a similar pattern. Graphs in this image are form SpaceWeatherLive

Space weather data snapshot from just after initial shock arrives at ACE satellites
Space weather data snapshot from just after initial shock arrives at ACE satellites

On the Sun:

Active Region 2443 has regained it’s delta spot and is not classified Beta-Delta. It produced several flares over the period. One flare late in the Nov 1 period laucnhed a CME that was determined to be south and East (in front) of the Earth-Sun line. This region is now in the Earth strike zone and has potential to produce more flares and CME eruptions.

AR 2443 in SDO colorized magnetogram has gained a delta spot and has flaring potential
AR 2443 in SDO colorized magnetogram has gained a delta spot and has flaring potential

Happy Hunting

NLN Aurora Brief – November 2, 2015

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Aurora Brief Number 14 of 14 (though, there may be bonus since we’re in the middle of a storm!)
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Today on the Sun:

A G3 (KP=7) geomagnetic storm watch is in effect! All eyes are on the solar wind data. The increased solar wind and solar wind density that will result from the coronal hole that was pointed towards Earth on Friday should arrive any moment. When it does, the wind speed may increase to above 800 km/s from the current 330 km/s. Density and Bt should also increase. If those play out as expected, the next metric to watch is Bz – the north/south component of the magnetic field. It needs to be pointed south, negative Bz values, for aurora to take place. About 30-40 minutes after the Bz turns south, the KP will start to rise.

NLN infographic of predicted Max KP Nov. 2 and 3
NLN infographic of predicted Max KP Nov. 2 and 3

You can monitor the KP live on the NLN live KP dashboard or on the chart to the right. As the KP is higher, the latitude it is possible to see the Aurora is lower. In Australia and New Zealand, this means Higher KP indicates northern lights should be visible further North. In the southern hemisphere, KP=7 means aurora can potentially be seen in Melbourne, AU or Wellington, NZ. For northern hemisphere hunters, KP=7 means aurora can potentially be seen as far south as Salt Lake City, UT, Richmond, VA, Brussels (Belgium) and Warsaw (Poland). On the live KP page, there is the ovation model, a convenient map showing the estimates of the chances that Aurora are visible at the moment in different locations around the northern hemisphere.

On the Sun AR 2443 continued to produce C-class flaring. It grew in area, but lost it’s delta spot while growing. Chances of M-class flares are slightly lower today than yesterday.

Don’t forget: The Last Minute Aurora Viewing Preparation Guide is available if you are planning on going out

Happy Hunting

NLN Aurora Brief – November 1, 2015

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Aurora Brief Number 13 of 14
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Today on the Sun:

Active Region 2443 has continued to be active. It produced an impulsive M1 flare and over a dozen C-class flares. This was the first M class flare since October 17th. The region grew and maintained it’s magnetic complexity. Expect more flaring from this region over the next 24 hours.

Coronal Hole responsible for the expected G3 Aurora for November 2nd and 3rd
Coronal Hole responsible for the expected G3 Aurora for November 2nd and 3rd

The coronal hole pointed directly at Earth is producing a high speed wind stream that will impact Earth in a major way over the next couple days. SWPC has issued a G3-Strong geomagnetic watch for November 2nd and a a G2 (moderate) aurora watch for November 3rd. NLN has updated the 3-day forecast with the expected timings. These are based on the best data available but a +/- six hour window is possible. Either way, a strong storm is expected and it should reward aurora hunters. Above is an image of the coronal hole responsible for the potential storm, below, see the current timelines as currently predicted by SWPC.

NLN infographic of predicted Max KP Nov. 2 and 3
NLN infographic of predicted Max KP Nov. 2 and 3

Happy Hunting!