SolarHam.com - Older News Archive (January 2015)

January 27, 2015 @ 13:40 UTC
Solar Update
Good morning. Below is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Tuesday. Solar activity during the past 24 hours was moderate with one M-Flare and multiple low level C-Flares detected. Region 2268 produced an isolated M1.1 solar flare at 16:53 UTC, but was not associated with a coronal mass ejection. Regions 2268, 2271, 2273 and 2275 all displayed varying degrees of growth, while all other visible regions remained fairly stable. What is likely the return of old region 2257 from the previous rotation is approaching the east limb and will turn back into view during the next 48 hours. Another isolated M-Flare will remain possible during the next day.

Aurora Display from Fairbanks, Alaska (Jan 26) - By Ian Johnson

January 26, 2015 @ 16:15 UTC
Rocket Launch and the Aurora
A pair of rocket launches were conducted last night from the Poker Flat Research Range in Alaska. The mission was conducted in order to help better understand the aurora and the upper atmosphere. More information regarding the mission can be found by clicking HERE. Marketa Murray sends us this cool image capturing a launch, along with a beautiful aurora display. Thanks Marketa for sharing!

Click HERE for another great image courtesy of Susan Stevenson capturing the contrail and aurora following the launch. Awesome job!

January 26, 2015 @ 13:00 UTC
Solar Update
Good morning. Attached is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Monday. Solar activity remained at low levels with only minor C-Flares detected. Spot growth was observed within the trailing section of region 2268 and also region 2271. New sunspot 2272 was numbered after turning into view off the east limb. A new sunspot forming near center disk was numbered 2273 overnight. There will remain a chance for minor C-Flares and perhaps an isolated M-Class event. No Earth directed coronal mass ejections were observed during the past day.

Solar wind enhancements, including periods of south pointing Bz is leading to elevated geomagnetic activity at high latitudes. Sky watchers should remain alert for visual aurora.

January 25, 2015 @ 15:15 UTC
Solar Update / Region 2268
Good morning. Here is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Sunday. Solar activity during the past 24 hours continued at low levels. Minor C-Flares were detected around region 2268 and off the west limb. New sunspot 2271 was numbered overnight after forming in the northeast quadrant. There will remain a chance for at least C-Class solar flares. Stay tuned to SolarHam.com for the latest information.

January 24, 2015 @ 13:30 UTC
Solar Update / Region 2268
Good morning and welcome to the weekend. Here is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Saturday. Solar activity during the past 24 hours was low with only minor C-Flares detected. Region 2268 located in the southeast quadrant was responsible for much of this activity and will remain a threat for additional C-Flares. There is also a lesser chance for an isolated M-Flare. All other visible numbered regions are currently stable and non threatening. No Earth directed coronal mass ejections were observed during the past day. Stay tuned to SolarHam.com for the latest information.

January 22, 2015 @ 13:40 UTC
Solar Update / Region 2268
Good morning. Attached is an updated look at the visible solar on Thursday. Solar activity during the past 24 hours was moderate. New region 2268, currently rotating into view off the southeast limb, produced an M1.4 solar flare at 04:52 UTC (Jan 22). A number of minor C-Flares were also observed around this region. All other visible Earth facing sunspots were quiet throughout the period. Another isolated M-Flare will remain possible as we approach the weekend.

Solar wind speeds remain above 400 km/s and the Bz component of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) is currently variable. Enhanced geomagnetic activity will be possible at very high latitudes during the next 24 hours.

January 21, 2015 @ 15:30 UTC
Solar Update / Solar Activity Increase
Good morning. Attached is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Wednesday. Solar activity during the past 24 hours reached near moderate levels. An approaching active region behind the southeast limb produced a C9.9 solar flare at 11:42 UTC (Jan 21). A number of low to mid level C-Flares were also observed around this region. We will begin to see the source within the next 24-48 hours. Elsewhere, all visible numbered regions are currently stable. A filament located in the northern hemisphere erupted early on Wednesday, but does not appear to be associated with a noteworthy coronal mass ejection (CME) at this time. More updates to follow if necessary. An isolated M-Flare will be possible during the next 24 hours due a possible sunspot approaching the east limb.

January 17, 2015 @ 16:05 UTC
Solar Update / Aurora Watch
Good morning folks. Attached is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Saturday. Solar activity this morning is very low with no noteworthy solar flares to report. All visible sunspot regions are expected to be quiet, with C-Flares possible around region 2259.

Aurora Watch

Enhanced geomagnetic activity will be possible during the next 48 hours due to the expected onset of a high speed solar wind stream flowing from a pair of geoeffective coronal holes, This could be followed up by a possible co-rotating interaction region (CIR). Sky watchers around the Arctic Circle should remain alert this weekend. Stay tuned to SolarHam.com for the latest information.

January 16, 2015 @ 13:20 UTC
Solar Update
Good morning. Below is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Friday. Solar activity during the past 24 hours declined to very low levels. Region 2259, now the largest visible Earth facing region, appears to be stable. All other regions, including newly numbered sunspot 2263 are not a threat for strong solar flares at this time. No Earth directed coronal mass ejections were observed during the past day. Stay tuned to SolarHam.com for the latest information.

January 14, 2015 @ 16:15 UTC
Region 2257 Departs / M2.2 Solar Flare
Good morning. Attached is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Wednesday. Solar activity during the past 24 hours was moderate. Departing region 2257 produced an M2.2 solar flare at 12:58 UTC (Jan 14). Future eruptions around AR 2257 will be directed away from our planet as the active region pushes further behind the west limb. Region 2255 is also now turning behind the west limb and out of direct Earth view. All remaining visible sunspots are currently stable. No Earth directed coronal mass ejections were detected during the past day. Stay tuned to SolarHam.com for the latest information.

January 13, 2015 @ 12:25 UTC
Solar Update / Region 2257
Good morning. Here is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Tuesday. Solar activity during the past 24 hours reached high levels. Region 2257 was responsible for a pair of moderately strong solar flares. The first event, an M5.6 flare peaked at 04:24 UTC and was associated with a short duration radio burst (TenFlare) measuring 290 solar flux units (SFU). This was followed up by an M4.9 flare at 04:58 UTC. A noteworthy coronal mass ejection was not produced by either of these flares. Region 2257 will remain a threat for an additional moderate to strong solar flare as it begins to turn out of direct Earth view. All other numbered regions are currently stable. Stay tuned to SolarHam.com for the latest information.

January 13, 2015 @ 11:40 UTC (UPDATED)
M5.6 Solar Flare Observed
Region 2257, now about to turn onto the west limb, produced a moderately strong M5.6 solar flare peaking at 04:24 UTC. Because the active region is no longer directly facing Earth, any associated coronal mass ejection (CME) would likely be directed mostly away from our planet. More details to follow once additional imagery becomes available.

UPDATE: A secondary solar flare peaking at M4.9 was also observed around region 2257 at 04:58 UTC (Jan 13).

UPDATE # 2: Updated coronagraph imagery shows that a noteworthy coronal mass ejection is not associated with the events listed above.

January 12, 2015 @ 16:10 UTC
Solar Update / Filament Eruption
Good morning. Here is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Monday, along with a filament eruption within the past hour of this update. Solar activity in terms of X-Ray flares during the past 24 hour was low. Region 2255 produced a C7.1 flare at 14:44 UTC (Jan 12). Minor C-Flares were also observed around regions 2257 and 2260. An isolated M-Flare is still a possibility as we start the new week. The filament eruption mentioned above began just after 15:00 UTC and was located in close proximity to region 2261. It is still too early to tell if a coronal mass ejection (CME) is associated, however it there is, it is likely to be relatively minor. More updates later today if necessary. Stay tuned to SolarHam.com for the latest information.

January 11, 2015 @ 17:00 UTC
Solar Update
Good morning / afternoon / evening / night, wherever you may be located. Solar activity during the past 24 hours continued at low levels. Region 2257 remains the most complex of all visible sunspot regions and is currently producing C-Flares. There will remain a chance for an isolated solar flare greater than M1.0. All other regions are currently stable. A coronal mass ejection (CME) was observed leaving the northeast limb and was directed away from our planet. Stay tuned to SolarHam.com for the latest information.

January 10, 2015 @ 15:15 UTC
Solar Update / Aurora Watch
Good morning. Here is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Saturday. Solar activity during the past 24 hours was low. Minor C-Flares were observed around both regions 2257 and 2259. Region 2257 is currently the largest visible Earth facing region and will remain a threat for at least C-Class solar flares. There is a lower chance for an isolated M-Flare during the next 24 hours. All other regions are currently stable. No Earth directed coronal mass ejections were observed during the past day.

Solar wind speeds increased to near 500 km/s and the Bz component of the interplanetary magnetic field trended to a south pointing position. Increased geomagnetic activity will be possible at high latitudes and could spark aurora displays around the Arctic Circle.

January 9, 2015 @ 15:45 UTC
Solar Update
Good morning. Here is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Friday. Solar activity during the past 24 hours reached close to moderate levels. Region 2257 was responsible for the largest X-Ray event of the period, a C9.6 flare at 08:17 UTC. The active region continues to evolve and will remain a threat for an isolated M-Flare. In the southeast quadrant, region 2259 continued to move more directly into Earth view and has been producing minor C-Flares. All other regions are currently stable. No Earth directed coronal mass ejections were observed during the past day. Continue to monitor SolarHam.com for the latest information.

January 7, 2015 @ 16:00 UTC (UPDATED)
Strong Geomagnetic Storm Observed
The Bz component of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) tipped sharply south on Wednesday morning and triggered a strong (G3) geomagnetic storm at high latitudes. This allowed the solar wind to more freely interact with our geomagnetic field, thus leading to the sharp increase in auroral activity. Strong storm conditions have since subsided. Sky watchers should remain alert for visible aurora if it is dark outside as a minor G1 geomagnetic storm watch remains in effect.

Below a nice aurora photo captured early this morning (Jan 7) by our friend Marketa Murray in Alaska.

EXTENDED WARNING: Geomagnetic K-index of 5 expected
Valid From: 2015 Jan 07 0700 UTC
Now Valid Until: 2015 Jan 07 2100 UTC
Warning Condition: Persistence

ALERT: Geomagnetic K-index of 7
Threshold Reached: 2015 Jan 07 1125 UTC
Synoptic Period: 0900-1200 UTC

January 7, 2015 @ 16:30 UTC
Solar Update
Here is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Wednesday. Solar activity is currently at low levels. Minor C-Flares were observed around region 2253 and off the southeast limb. Region 2253 continues to decay as it transits the southwest quadrant. It will remain a threat for an isolated M-Flare. New region 2257 expanded as it approached center disk, but was fairly quiet during the past day. Sunspots are now emerging off the southeast limb and is likely the return of old region 2242. It along with old sunspot 2241 will continue to move back into view during the next several days. Monitor SolarHam.com for the latest information.

January 6, 2015 @ 15:00 UTC
Aurora in Ultra HD
Ronn and Marketa Murray up in Alaska wanted to share with us this stunning new aurora video captured in 4K ultra high resolution. They ventured out on January 1st in -25F temparatures with an almost full moon and this is what they captured. Brilliant job and thanks for sharing! Click HERE to view on YouTube.

January 6, 2015 @ 15:00 UTC
Solar Update
Good morning. Here is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Tuesday. Solar activity reached close to moderate levels during the past 24 hours. A region approaching the southeast limb, possibly old sunspot 2242, produced a C9.7 at 11:48 UTC. Elsewhere, Region 2253 continues to slowly decay while the lead and trailing sections of the group spread apart. Despite this, 2253 will remain a threat for an isolated M-Flare. All other regions are currently stable. No Earth directed coronal mass ejections were detected during the past day.

Solar wind speeds are currently above 500 km/s and the Bz component of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) is mostly variable for the time being. Isolated periods of enhanced geomagnetic activity will remain possible during the next 24 hours.

January 5, 2015 @ 15:55 UTC
Solar Update
Good morning. Here is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Monday, along with a composite image by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) showing a pair of large coronal holes. A solar wind stream flowing from the southern hemisphere CH is currently influencing our geomagnetic field. This could continue during the next day. Solar activity during the past 24 hours declined to lower levels. Minor C-Flares were detected around region 2253 and off the southeast limb. Region 2253, currently located near center disk, did show some weakening, but will remain a threat for an isolated M-Flare. One, or perhaps two potential active regions, are approaching the east limb. This includes old region 2242 from the previous rotation. We should begin to see these regions during the next 24-48 hours. Continue to monitor SolarHam.com for the latest information.

January 4, 2015 @ 15:45 UTC
Moderate Activity / Bz South / Aurora Watch
Good morning. Attached is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Sunday. Solar activity during the past 24 hours increased to moderate levels. Sunspot 2253 produced a low level M-Flare (M1.3) at 15:35 UTC (Jan 4). The large active region will remain a threat for additional moderate solar flares. Elsewhere, new spot growth was observed within region 2255, but is not yet considered a major threat for noteworthy solar flares. All other regions are currently stable.

The Bz component of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) has been pointing south for long durations. Increased geomagnetic activity is being observed at high latitudes. Sky watchers at high latitudes should remain alert for visible aurora once it is dark outside. Continue to monitor SolarHam.com for the latest spaceweather data and imagery.

January 3, 2015 @ 10:40 UTC
Solar Update / Region 2253
Good morning. Here is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Saturday. Solar activity during the past 24 hours increased to moderate levels. Region 2253 produced the first M-Flare of the new year, an M1.1 flare peaking at 09:47 UTC (Jan 3). The active region remains the most magnetically complex Earth facing sunspot and will continue to be a threat for additional isolated M-Class solar flares. All other regions are currently stable.

A brief period of minor (G1) geomagnetic storming was observed at high latitudes due to an enhanced solar wind stream. Solar wind speeds are currently above 400 km/s. Isolated periods of increased geomagnetic activity will remain possible throughout the weekend. Sky watchers, particularly around the Arctic Circle should remain alert for visible aurora displays. Continue to monitor SolarHam.com for the latest spaceweather data and imagery.

January 3, 2015 @ 05:00 UTC
Aurora Watch
An enhanced solar wind stream containing periods of southward Bz is generating elevated geomagnetic activity at high latitudes. A minor G1 geomagnetic storm was observed. Sky watchers at high latitudes should be alert for aurora tonight.

Aurora Over Alaska courtesy of Alaska Aurora Cam.

January 2, 2015 @ 15:20 UTC
Solar Update
Good morning. Here is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Friday. Solar activity during the past 24 hours remained at low levels. Region 2253 continues to be the largest visible Earth facing sunspot and will remain a threat for an isolated M-Flare. All other numbered regions are currently stable. New spot growth is being observed in the southwest quadrant and should be assigned number 2256 later today. No Earth directed coronal mass ejections were detected during the past day. Continue to monitor SolarHam.com for the latest spaceweather data and imagery.

January 1, 2015 @ 01:50 UTC
Happy New Year 2015!
Good evening. Solar activity during the past 24 hours continued at low levels. There will remain a chance for an isolated M-Flare during the next 24 hours. Region 2253 is currently the most likely candidate to produce such an event.

I want to wish all of my SolarHam viewers a Happy New Year 2015. I hope everybody has a great night and a fantastic year ahead. Thanks for checking in and I will see you all in 2015, or in other words, tomorrow! - Kevin