SolarHam.com - Older News Archive (February 2015)

February 27, 2015 @ 11:50 UTC
Solar Update
Good morning and Happy Friday. Here is an updated look at the visible solar disk. Solar activity remains stuck at very low levels. Existing region 2290 remains in a gradual decay trend as it moved across the northwest quadrant. New sunspots 2293 and 2294 were numbered during the past 24 hours and will be monitored. With the new spots will come a chance for minor C-Class flares. A faint coronal mass ejection (CME) was observed in coronagraph imagery this morning, but appears to be headed to the west and away from Earth. Stay tuned for the latest information.

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February 26, 2015 @ 13:00 UTC
Solar Update
Good morning. Here is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Thursday. Solar activity during the past 24 hours was very low. The visible disk is nearly blank with decaying region 2290 being the lone numbered region facing Earth today. No Earth directed coronal mass ejections were detected during the past day.

A minor (G1) geomagnetic storm watch was issued for this upcoming weekend. An anticipated solar sector boundary change, along with a solar wind stream flowing from a large southern hemisphere coronal hole could become geoeffective. More updates to follow this weekend.

February 25, 2015 @ 13:55 UTC
Solar Update
Good morning folks. Solar activity is at very low levels to start the day on Wednesday. Region 2290, the lone visible sunspot region on the Earth facing side of the sun is stable. A noteworthy solar flare is unlikely today. A coronal mass ejection (CME) was observed leaving the northwest limb area and was directed away from our planet. Stay tuned to SolarHam.com for the latest information.

Kandra Forbes sends us this nice image she captured during the early hours of February 24th from just north of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. Thanks for the photo!

February 24, 2015 @ 12:20 UTC
Beautiful Eruption
Attached image below courtesy of the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) using the 304 angstroms channel captures a beautiful prominence eruption off the southeast limb on Tuesday morning (Feb 24). Because of the non Earth facing position, an Earth directed coronal mass ejection (CME) is highly unlikely. Still an amazing sight to behold! Click HERE for an awesome video.

February 24, 2015 @ 14:00 UTC
Minor Storming Observed (UPDATED)
Periods of minor (G1) geomagnetic storming was observed at high latitudes early Tuesday morning due to an enhanced solar wind stream containing periods of southward Bz. Aurora displays were reported across many locations around the Arctic Circle and beyond. Brian Drourr was out early Tuesday morning and took the nice photo below capturing a green aurora glow from Sand Bar State Park in Northern Vermont, USA. Thanks for sharing!

Another nice image courtesy of Chris Ratzlaff in Alberta, Canada.

February 23, 2015 @ 13:30 UTC
Solar Update
Good morning. Below is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Monday. Solar activity during the past 24 hours was at very low levels with the exception of a minor C1 flare detected off the west limb. Region 2290 showed minor development during the past day, but has so far remained quiet. New sunspot 2292 was numbered after forming in the southeast quadrant and will be monitored. No Earth directed coronal mass ejections were observed during the past day. Solar wind speeds are currently above 400 km/s. Minor enhancements could trigger elevated geomagnetic activity at higher latitudes. Stay tuned to SolarHam.com for the most up to date information.

February 22, 2015 @ 15:20 UTC
Solar Update
Good morning. Here is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Sunday. Solar activity is at very low levels. All numbered regions are currently stable and are not considered a threat for strong solar flares. Newly assigned region 2291 already looks to be fading away. No Earth directed coronal mass ejections were detected during the past 24 hours. Low energy proton levels remain elevated, but below the minor radiation storm threshold. The increase is due to the large CME observed on Saturday morning from beyond the southwest limb. That event is not expected to be geoeffective. Stay tuned to SolarHam.com for the most up to date information.

February 21, 2015 @ 17:15 UTC
Solar Update / Coronal Mass Ejection Observed
Hello again folks. Here is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Saturday, along with a noteworthy coronal mass ejection (CME) observed this morning in the latest LASCO coronagraph imagery. X-Ray activity during the past 24 hours declined to very low levels with no noteworthy solar flares detected. An eruption off the southwest limb looks to have been responsible for an expansive coronal mass ejection seen leaving the sun in the latest LASCO imagery. A minor increase in low energy proton levels was noted today and is likely the result of this event. More information once additional imagery and CME tracking models become available. Stay tuned to SolarHam.com for the most up to date information.

February 20, 2015 @ 12:15 UTC
Solar Update
Good morning and welcome to another Friday. Solar activity during the past 24 hours was low. Regions 2282 and 2286 rotated onto the west limb and are now out of direct Earth view. None of the remaining numbered regions are considered a major threat for solar flares at this time. A faint, slow moving coronal mass ejection was seen leaving the sun early Friday morning, but so far appears to be headed to the southwest and away from Earth. Geomagnetic activity is currently at quiet levels with aurora displays likely to be confined to the polar regions during the next day. Stay tuned to SolarHam.com for the most up to date information.

Aurora from Chandler, Québec, Canada (Feb 17) - By Frédéric Péron

February 18, 2015 @ 15:40 UTC
Quiet Sun Continues / Minor Storming
Good morning. Here is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Wednesday. Solar activity remains at very low levels. Regions 2282 and newly assigned region 2286 in the southwest quadrant remain stable. A number of other sunspots are popping up around the disk and will be monitored. No Earth directed coronal mass ejections were observed during the past day.

A period of minor (G1) geomagnetic storming was observed on Tuesday night and into early Wednesday morning. The increase was the result of an enhanced solar wind stream containing periods of southward Bz. Visible aurora displays were reported across many locations at higher latitudes. Storming has since subsided.

Aurora from Alaska (Feb 16) - By Ian Johnson

February 18, 2015 @ 05:00 UTC
Minor (G1) Storming Observed
Good evening. An elevated solar wind stream containing periods of southward Bz continues to stir up geomagnetic activity at high latitudes. Minor (G1) storming was observed late on Tuesday (UTC). Sky watchers should remain alert tonight as additional aurora displays will be possible.

February 17, 2015 @ 18:20 UTC
Aurora Displays (UPDATED)
An elevated solar wind stream containing periods of southward Bz led to enhanced geomagnetic activity at high latitudes. Sky watchers reported beautiful aurora displays around the Arctic Circle and beyond. Our friend Zoltan Kenwell in Alberta captured the beautiful display below from Alberta, Canada during the early morning hours on Tuesday. Thanks for sharing!

More imagery courtesy of Stuart Cant in Scotland and Tracey Hays in Minnesota, USA.

February 16, 2015 @ 17:40 UTC
Quiet Sun
Good afternoon. Solar activity continues at very low levels with no noteworthy solar flares detected during the past few days. The visible disk consists of only two visible numbered regions. Of these, region 2282 is a threat for minor C-Class solar flares. Old region 2268 from the previous rotation is expected to return off the east limb during the next 48 hours. It remains to be seen if visible sunspots are still associated with this region. No Earth directed coronal mass ejections were observed during the past day. Stay tuned to SolarHam.com for the latest information.

February 14, 2015 @ 15:20 UTC
Solar Update
Good morning. Here is a special Valentine's Day edition of the visible solar disk on Saturday. Solar activity during the past 24 hours was very low. Both visible numbered regions (2282 and 2284) are quiet. There does not appear to be a major threat for noteworthy solar flares at this time. A solar wind stream flowing from a geoeffective middle latitude coronal hole is expected to reach Earth during the next day or so and could lead to elevated geomagnetic activity around the polar regions. Stay tuned to SolarHam.com for the latest information.

February 12, 2015 @ 14:30 UTC
Solar Update
Good morning. Below is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Thursday. Solar activity during the past 24 hours was at low levels with no noteworthy Earth facing solar flares to report. Region 2280 continues to decay as it approaches the west limb. In the northeast quadrant, Region 2282 is fairly stable with the exception of a low level C-Flare, A solar wind stream flowing from a large soon to be geoeffective coronal hole could reach Earth this weekend and lead to enhanced geomagnetic activity at high latitudes. Stay tuned to SolarHam.com for the latest information.

February 12, 2015 @ 05:00 UTC
DSCOVR Lifts Off
After a number of delays, the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite finally launched successfully from Cape Canaveral, Florida on Wednesday. This mission will eventually provide an enhanced solar wind monitoring system crucial to spaceweather forecasting. More information can be found by clicking HERE.

February 11, 2015 @ 13:50 UTC
Solar Update / DSCOVR Mission Update
Good morning. Here is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Wednesday. Solar activity during the past 24 hours declined to very low levels. Regions 2280 and 2281 are both showing some signs of decay, while region 2282 is fairly stable. Minor C-Class solar flares will remain possible today. No Earth directed coronal mass ejections were observed during the past day. As expected, the CME observed late on Feb 9 following the M2.4 solar flare is not expected to be geoeffective. A noteworthy increase in geomagnetic activity is unlikely.

Following another delay on Tuesday, the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) mission will attempt to launch tonight at 6:03 pm EST (23:03 UTC). This time they are calling for a 90% chance for favorable conditions. Latest information can be found via the official mission blog.

February 10, 2015 @ 11:20 UTC
Solar Update / DSCOVR Mission Update
Good morning. Here is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Tuesday. Solar activity during the past 24 hours increased to moderate levels. Region 2282 located in the northeast quadrant was responsible for an M2.4 solar flare at 23:35 UTC (Feb 9) associated with an easterly directed coronal mass ejection (CME). It does not appear that the plasma cloud will be geoeffective, meaning a noteworthy impact to our geomagnetic field is unlikely. More updates once a tracking model becomes available. Elsewhere, minor C-Flares were detected around region 2280, including a C8.3 at 02:02 UTC (Feb 10). Additional C-Flares are likely during the next 24 hours with a chance for an isolated M-Flare around regions 2280 and 2282. A large filament channel continues to stretch across the southern hemisphere and should continue to be monitored. Stay tuned to SolarHam.com for the latest information.

The Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) mission will attempt to launch tonight at 6:05 pm EST (23:05 UTC). They are calling for a 70% chance for favorable conditions, with wind speeds being their primary concern. Latest information via the official mission blog.

February 10, 2015 @ 11:00 UTC
M2.4 Solar Flare and CME (UPDATED)
Good evening. Below is an updated video courtesy of the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) capturing an M2.4 solar flare near region 2282 peaking at 23:35 UTC (Feb 9). A Type II radio emission with an estimated velocity of 1190 km/s was associated with this event. A well defined coronal mass ejection (CME) is visible in the latest video released by LASCO C2, however due to the location near the east limb, it does appears to be directed away from Earth. More updates to follow if necessary.

February 9, 2015 @ 13:30 UTC
Solar Update
Good morning. Here is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Monday, along with a large filament channel continuing to persist in the southern hemisphere. Solar activity during the past 24 hours was low with only minor C-Flares detected. Region 2277 remained in a gradual decay trend as it approaches the west limb. Region 2280 was responsible for low level C-Flares as it moved across the southwest quadrant. It will remain a lower threat for an isolated M-Flare. New spot growth is being observed to the south of region 2282 in the northeast quadrant and should be monitored. No Earth directed coronal mass ejections were detected during the past day. Stay tuned to SolarHam.com for the latest information.

See below for new information regarding the The Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) mission.

February 9, 2015 @ 13:30 UTC
DSCOVR Launch Delayed Again (UPDATED)
UPDATE #2: The Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) mission will attempt to launch now on Tuesday at 6:05 pm EST (23:05 UTC). The latest delay is due to unfavorable weather conditions predicted for this evening. Mission Blog.

Scheduled to launch today (Sunday) at 6:10pm EST (23:10 UTC), the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) joint mission by NOAA, NASA and USAF in order to study the solar wind in greater detail. Click HERE to visit the mission blog site and click HERE for a video presentation. You will also be able to watch the launch live via NASA TV.

February 7, 2015 @ 16:50 UTC
Solar Update
Good morning. Solar activity on Saturday starts off at low levels. Minor C-Flares are being detected around both regions 2277 and 2280. Additional C-Flares will be likely this weekend with a chance for an isolated M-Flare. Region 2280 will be the most likely candidate to produce such an event. Attached image is courtesy of Ron Cottrell who captured a large filament channel on Friday from his location in Arizona. This plasma dense solar feature is now turning into a geoeffective Earth facing position. Although currently magnetically anchored in place, filaments can sometimes become unstable and collapse, leading to bright coronal mass ejections. We will continue to monitor this large feature during the weekend and provide updates if necessary.

February 6, 2015 @ 14:45 UTC
Solar Update
Good morning. Here is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Friday. Solar activity during the past 24 hours was low with only minor C-Flares detected. Region 2277 continues to gradually decay is it moves across the northwest quadrant. Region 2280, now located near center disk, showed small signs of development and is capable of producing at least C-Class solar flares. There is a small chance for an isolated M-Flare. No Earth directed coronal mass ejections were detected within the past day. A large plasma rich filament channel is currently stretching across the southeast quadrant and should be monitored during the next several days. Stay tuned to SolarHam.com for the latest data and imagery.

February 4, 2015 @ 17:05 UTC
Solar Update
Good afternoon. Below is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Wednesday. Solar activity during the past 24 hours reached moderate levels. Region 2277 produced an M1.2 solar flare peaking at 02:15 UTC. The active region did show gradual spot growth within the center of the group and will remain a threat for another isolated M-Flare. All other regions are currently stable. No Earth directed coronal mass ejections were detected within the past day. Continue to monitor SolarHam.com for the latest data and imagery.

February 3, 2015 @ 13:20 UTC
Solar Update / Geomagnetic Storm Observed
Good morning. Below is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Tuesday, along with a beautiful new aurora image courtesy of Marketa Murray in Alaska. Solar activity during the past 24 hours was low. Minor C-Flares were detected around regions 2277 and newly assigned region 2280. Region 2280 continued to expand in the southeast quadrant and should be monitored. No Earth directed coronal mass ejections were observed during the past day. Stay tuned to SolarHam.com for the latest information.

February 2, 2015 @ 15:50 UTC
Solar Update / Geomagnetic Storm Observed
Good morning. Attached is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Monday. Solar activity is currently at low levels. Both regions 2268 and 2277 continued to show signs of decay during the past day. New sunspot 2279 was numbered overnight and is not considered a major threat for solar flares at this time. There will remain a chance for at least C-Class solar flares.

Minor geomagnetic storming was observed at high latitudes due to an elevated solar wind stream (currently above 650 km/s). Enhanced activity will remain possible during the next 24 hours. Stay tuned to www.solarham.com for the latest information.

February 2, 2015 @ 04:00 UTC
Geomagnetic Storm
An expected solar wind stream flowing from a geoeffective coronal has reached Earth. Minor (G1) geomagnetic storming is being observed at high latitudes. Sky watchers should be alert for visual aurora displays.

Aurora from Fairbanks, Alaska courtesy of AlaskaAuroraCam.com

February 1, 2015 @ 18:00 UTC
Solar Update / Coronal Mass Ejection
Hello again folks and hello February. Solar activity continued at low levels during the past 24 hours with only minor C-Flares detected. There will remain a chance for an isolated M-Flare around regions 2268 and 2277 as they transit the visible disk. An eruption off the northeast limb hurled a coronal mass ejection (CME) into space and away from our planet. Attached is an updated coronagraph image by LASCO C3. Continue to monitor SolarHam.com for the latest data and imagery.