- Older News Archive (March 2017)

March 18, 2017 @ 00:50 UTC
Quiet Solar Activity / Coronal Hole
Good evening. Solar activity as far as sunspots and solar flares are concerned remains very quiet and is expected to remain this way over the next few days. The visible disk has now been spotless for 12 days in a row. This matches the longest spotless streak for the current solar cycle as we slowly make our way towards the next solar minimum.

Enhanced geomagnetic activity, possibly reaching storm levels will be possible next week when Coronal Hole #72 becomes geoeffective after March 21st. High latitude sky watchers may get an aurora show once a high speed solar wind stream arrives. More updates in the days ahead. Image below courtesy of SDO/AIA.

Large Coronal Hole - SDO/AIA

March 11, 2017 @ 01:20 UTC
Very Low Solar Activity
Good evening. Quiet times on the sun again as the visible disk is now void of sunspots for the 5th day in a row. Very low solar activity is expected to continue over the weekend.

Geomagnetic activity is also expected to be at fairly quiet levels this weekend following several days of enhanced conditions thanks to a persistent solar wind stream. Visible aurora will remain possible around the Arctic Circle.

Visible Solar Disk - SDO/HMI

March 6, 2017 @ 20:00 UTC
Solar Wind Continues
The ongoing high speed solar wind stream will not let up. Another round of minor (G1) geomagnetic storming has flared up at higher latitudes. Sky watchers should remain alert for visible aurora once dark outside. Attached aurora image below captured last night by Sacha Layos in Alaska. Very nice and thanks for sharing!

ALERT: Geomagnetic K-index of 5
Threshold Reached: 2017 Mar 06 2000 UTC
Synoptic Period: 1800-2100 UTC
Active Warning: Yes
NOAA Scale: G1 - Minor

March 2, 2017 @ 10:00 UTC
Moderate Geomagnetic Storm Observed (UPDATED)
As expected, a high speed solar wind stream arrived past Earth within the past 24 hours and is currently responsible for Moderate (G2) geomagnetic storming at higher latitudes. Additional periods of storming will remain possible over the next day or so while the stream is geoeffective. Sky watchers at high latitudes should be alert for visible aurora.

UPDATE: The solar wind remains high above 700 km/s and this is helping to prolong the ongoing geomagnetic disturbance. A minor (G1) geomagnetic storm watch will remain in place for the next several hours. Attached image below is courtesy of Ronn and Marketa Murray (The Aurora Chasers) and was captured last night up in Alaska. Beautiful and thanks for sharing!