- Older News Archive (September 2014)

Updated 09/13/2014 @ 16:30 UTC
Second CME Impact / Strong Storm Observed
The anticipated coronal mass ejection (CME) generated by the X1.6 solar flare on September 10th swept past Earth at 15:55 UTC Friday. Solar Wind speeds as measured by the ACE spacecraft increased from 433.2 km/s, to 671.8 km/s. A Geomagnetic Sudden Impulse measuring 43 nT was detected by the ground based magnetometer in Boulder, Colorado. Moderate G2 geomagnetic storming was observed at high latitudes, with a brief period of Strong G3 storming detected as well. The Bz component of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) has since pointed north, a condition that is known to suppress geomagnetic activity. A geomagnetic storm watch will remain in effect on Saturday.

Aurora Display from New Hampshire, USA - By Christpher Georgia

More imagery from last night courtesy of Robert Kucirek in Sweden, Brian Drourr in Vermont, USA, Gail Lamm in Manitoba, Canada, Gino Audet in Quebec, Canada, Robert Fry in Ontario, Canada, Jarno Alarauhio in Finland and Ruben Roos in Sweden.

Additional imagery from the geomagnetic storm can be found in the SolarHam Aurora Gallery.

Updated 09/12/2014 @ 10:55 UTC
CME Impact #1 / Minor Storm Observed
The first of two coronal mass ejections swept past Earth on Thursday evening. The incoming plasma cloud, stemming from an M4.5 eruption on September 9th, reached our planet at 23:46 UTC. A geomagnetic sudden impulse measuring 33 nT was detected by the ground based magnetometer in Boulder, Colorado. Solar wind speeds reached near 500 km/s and the Bz component of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) continues to fluctuate. The impact resulted in a brief geomagnetic storm at high latitudes. A reminder that a larger and faster moving CME trailing behind the first once is expected to sweep past Earth within the next 6-12 hours. Attached image below sent to us by Theresa Tanner in Alberta, Canada who captured this brief display Thursday evening. Stay tuned for the latest information.

Another image by Robert Fry from Long Sault, Ontario, Canada.

Added 09/11/2014 @ 10:45 UTC
Geomagnetic Storm and Aurora Watch
An updated CME prediction model released by the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center is calling for the plasma cloud generated by the X1.6 solar flare to impact our geomagnetic field by Friday. A moderate to major (G3) geomagnetic storm watch is now in effect. Solar wind speeds are predicted to reach near 800 km/s and could add fuel to another geomagnetic disturbance already in the forecast resulting from an earlier M4.5 flare and CME event. Sky watchers at middle to high latitudes should be alert this weekend for visual aurora displays.

Updated 09/11/2014 @ 01:00 UTC
Major Solar Flare and CME
Geoeffective Sunspot 2158 produced a strong solar flare Wednesday afternoon measuring X1.6 at 17:45 UTC. The event event was associated with a Type II Radio emission with an estimated velocity of 3750 km/s. This is indicative of a strong coronal mass ejection. Updated coronagraph imagery shows a full halo coronal mass ejection (CME) heading into space and directed towards Earth. More information on this below. Proton levels streaming past Earth are on the rise and a Minor Radiation Storm is now in progress. Click HERE for an updated event log.

ALERT: Type II Radio Emission
Begin Time: 2014 Sep 10 1727 UTC
Estimated Velocity: 3750 km/s
Description: Type II emissions occur in association with eruptions on the sun and typically indicate a coronal mass ejection is associated with a flare event.

Earth Directed CME: This Video captured by LASCO C2 and C3 shows a full-halo coronal mass ejection (CME) leaving the sun following a major X1.6 solar flare on Wednesday afternoon. Based on this video, the quick moving plasma cloud is directed towards our planet. Low and high energy proton levels streaming past our planet are currently on the rise. Watches are now out for a solar radiation storm to take place and this could affect things such as high altitude travel and Earth orbiting satellites. Once the plasma cloud reaches Earth, possibly by as early as Friday, minor to major geomagnetic storming will be possible. This event could interact with an earlier slower moving CME following the M4.5 event from Sept. 9. Sky watchers should remain alert this weekend for visual aurora displays. More updates to follow.

Updated 09/09/2014 @ 01:10 UTC
M4.5 Solar Flare and CME
Region 2158 produced a long duration M4.5 solar flare this evening peaking at 00:29 UTC. The event was associated with Type II and Type IV radio emissions, along with a 10cm Radio Burst (Ten Flare) measuring 370 solar flux units and lasting 10 minutes. A coronal mass ejection (CME) is now visible in the latest LASCO C2 imagery. More details to follow regarding a possible Earth directed component. Click HERE to view an updated event log for this solar flare.

UPDATE: Updated coronagraph imagery shows that a majority of plasma was directed to the northeast, however a weaker component appears to be on track with our planet. A glancing blow to our geomagnetic field will be possible by September 11th. Stay tuned for further updates.

Added 09/03/2014 @ 14:10 UTC
A long duration solar flare peaking at M2.5 was observed at 13:54 UTC Wednesday morning. The source of this eruption is a new active region approaching the southeast limb. A weak coronal mass ejection (CME) became visible in the latest LASCO C2 imagery and as expected due to the limb location, was directed to the east and away from our planet. We will get a better look at the active region during the next several days.

Updated 09/03/2014 @ 01:05 UTC
Large Filament Eruption
Attached video below by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) using the 304 angstroms channel captures a large filament eruption in the northern hemisphere on Tuesday. Although most of the material (plasma) appears to be directed north of the ecliptic, updated coronagraph imagery is required to determine if there is an Earth directed component. Stay tuned.

UPDATE: Updated coronagraph imagery confirms that an associated CME was directed to the north and mostly away from our planet. Updated CME tracking models are still calling for a glancing blow to our geomagnetic field by Sept. 6. A geomagentic storm is not in the forecast at this time.

Added 09/02/2014 @ 02:25 UTC
Major Farsided Solar Flare
A major solar flare, possibly X-Class, was observed this morning behind the east limb. Attached imagery below by STEREO Behind captures the bright flash of the eruption beginning at 11:05 UTC. This event was associated with a Type II Radio Emission with an estimated velocity of 2079 km/s. A bright coronal mass ejection (CME) is now visible in the latest STEREO Behind COR2 coronagraph imagery. The event also looks to be very energetic as particles are now bombarding the spacecraft and creating noise in the latest imagery. We will get a better look at the source region later this week when it begins to rotate into view. Click HERE for a video.

UPDATE: Additional solar flares are being observed behind the east limb, this time around old sunspot 2144. A number of coronal mass ejections are visible in the latest coronagraph imagery. We should begin to see the returning region within the next 24-48 hours. Stay tuned.