SolarHam.com - Older News Archive (August 2015)

August 28, 2015 @ 03:30 UTC
Moderate Geomagnetic Storm
Minor (G1) to Moderate (G2) Geomagnetic Storming continues into Friday morning. The Bz component of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) continues to sustain a south pointing position which is helping to fuel the storm. Sky watchers should remain alert tonight.

August 26, 2015 @ 13:40 UTC
Geomagnetic Storming Continues / M2.9 Solar Flare
Minor (G1) to Moderate (G2) geomagnetic storming continues at high latitudes on Thursday. Prolonged periods of southward Bz carried past Earth via the solar wind is contributing to this occurrence. Visible aurora has been reported across many locations from Scandinavia, northern tier USA, Canada and Alaska. Sky watchers should remain alert if it is still dark outside.

In other news, a moderate M2.9 solar flare around region 2403 was detected at 05:44 UTC early Thursday morning. A noteworthy coronal mass ejection (CME) is unlikely from this particular event. Stay tuned to SolarHam.com for the latest information.

M2.9 Solar Flare (August 27)

Aurora From Hartford, Wisconsin - By Jake Stehli

Another nice image courtesy of Ari Kaarakainen from Myrskylä, Finland.

August 27, 2015 @ 04:00 UTC (UPDATED)
Geomagnetic Storm Warning
The Bz component of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) continues to point south. As expected, minor (G1) geomagnetic storming is being observed at higher latitudes. There is also a watch in effect for moderate (G2) storming. Sky watchers at high latitudes should be alert for visual aurora tonight.

UPDATE @ 04:00 UTC: The moderate G2 storm threshold has been reached. Visual aurora is likely across northern tier sections of the United States, Canada and Alaska.

ALERT: Geomagnetic K-index of 6
Threshold Reached: 2015 Aug 27 0339 UTC
Synoptic Period: 0300-0600 UTC
Active Warning: Yes
NOAA Scale: G2 - Moderate

August 26, 2015 @ 13:30 UTC
Solar Update / Bz South
Good morning. Below is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Wednesday. Solar activity during the past 24 hours was low. Region 2403, now showing signs of decay, was responsible for only low level C-Flares. The lead and trailing sections of the group continued to spread apart while losing some of its magnetic complexity. The active region will remain a threat for an isolated M-Flare as it rotates across the southwest quadrant.

An extended period of southward Bz carried past Earth via the solar wind is currently elevating geomagnetic activity at higher latitudes. A minor (G1) geomagnetic storm may be possible today. Sky watchers at high latitudes should be alert for visible aurora if it is dark outside. Stay tuned to SolarHam.com for the most up to date spaceweather data and imagery.

August 25, 2015 @ 13:10 UTC
Smokey Sunspot
With a number of forest fires currently burning in northwestern United States and western Canada, a smokey haze has allowed photographers to capture images of the sun featuring big sunspot 2403 without any special filtering. Here is an unfiltered image captured on Monday by Stuart Milliner in Alberta, Canada. As you can see here, the two main dark cores of region 2403 stand out nicely. Nice shot Stuart and thanks for sharing!

Spaceweather Update: Solar activity on Tuesday morning is low with a number of minor C-Flares detected around 2403. Isolated M-Flares will remain possible during the next 24 hours with a smaller chance for a major X-Flare. No Earth directed coronal mass ejections were observed during the past day. Stay tuned to SolarHam.com for the latest information.

August 24, 2015 @ 13:00 UTC
Solar Update / M5.6 Flare
Here is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Monday. Solar activity during the past 24 hours was moderate. Region 2403 produced an impulsive M5.6 solar flare at 07:33 UTC. A coronal mass ejection (CME) does not appear evident when viewing updated STEREO Ahead coronagraph imagery. The active region remains magnetically complex and will continue to be a threat for moderate to strong solar flares. Stay tuned to SolarHam.com for the most up to date spaceweather data and imagery.

August 23, 2015 @ 23:45 UTC
Aurora Outbreak
A brief, but productive geomagnetic storm was observed early Sunday morning when a high speed solar wind stream flowing from a geoeffective coronal hole reached Earth. Vivid aurora displays were reported across many locations in western Canada, including the amazing scene below showing downtown Calgary, Alberta, along with an aurora display in the background. The photo was captured by Jayden Rae at 3am local time early Sunday morning. More images from the aurora outbreak are linked below. Although geomagnetic storming has since subsided, a minor storm warning will remain in effect for the next 24 hours. The high speed solar wind stream, coupled with a potential glancing blow CME impact could provide another flareup in activity.

More images from Theresa Tanner and Ian Jones in Alberta, Canada.

August 23, 2015 @ 12:05 UTC
Geomagnetic Storm (UPDATED)
A minor (G1) to moderate (G2) geomagnetic storm is currently in progress. An expected solar wind stream flowing from a geoeffective coronal hole is now interacting with our geomagnetic field. Sky watchers at hgher latitudes should be alert for visual aurora if it is dark outside.

UPDATE @ 12:05 UTC: Minor geomagnetic storming continues at higher latitudes. The solar wind stream is currently above 500 km/s and the Bz component of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) is trending southward. Reports of visible aurora across western Canada are plentiful.

ALERT: Geomagnetic K-index of 5
Threshold Reached: 2015 Aug 23 1101 UTC
Synoptic Period: 0900-1200 UTC
Active Warning: Yes
NOAA Scale: G1 - Minor

August 22, 2015 @ 13:27 UTC
Solar Update / Sunspot 2403 (UPDATED)
Good morning. Here is an updated look at big sunspot 2403 on Saturday morning. Solar activity during the past 24 hours was moderate. The active region continued to produce low level M-Flares, including an M1.2 flare at 06:49 UTC early Saturday morning. That event was associated with a Type II radio emission with an estimated velocity of 1149 km/s. Some dimming was again observed around the sunspot cluster following the flare indicating that a coronal mass ejection (CME) may be possible. More updates regarding this later today. It should be noted that another CME observed following an M-Flare on Friday appears minor and directed mostly to the south. A noteworthy impact to our geomagnetic field is unlikely. Sunspot 2403 remains fairly complex and will continue to be a threat for moderate M-Class solar flares. There is also a small chance for a major X-Class solar flare, however this all depends on continued growth and magnetic intensification. Stay tuned to SolarHam.com for the most up to date spaceweather data and imagery.

UPDATE @ 13:27 UTC: Region 2403 just produced an impulsive M2.2 flare peaking at 13:23 UTC.

UPDATE #2 @ 19:10 UTC: A faint CME was produced by the M1.2 solar flare early Saturday morning. Although there does appear to be somewhat of an Earth directed component, not much is expected to come from this particular event. More updates whenever necessary.

August 21, 2015 @ 11:55 UTC
M-Flares (UPDATED)
It's been a while, but solar activity is now at moderate levels. Region 2403 was responsible for an M1.2 solar flare peaking at 02:18 UTC (Aug 21). This was the first M-Flare since July 6th. Another M-Flare (M1.4) is in progress at the time of this update at 09:50 UTC. More flaring will remain possible as the active region turns into a more geoeffective Earth facing position.

UPDATE @ 11:55 UTC: The second M-Flare (M1.4) I first reported on earlier this morning may have produced a coronal mass ejection (CME). The event was associated with a Type II radio emission with an estimated velocity of 490 km/s. Coronal dimming surrounding the active region was observed following the flare, indicating that a CME is possible. There is currently a lack of coronagraph imagery, so more updates to follow once new imagery comes in.

M1.4 Solar Flare (Region 2403) - Early Friday

August 20, 2015 @ 12:40 UTC
Region 2403 / Solar Update
Good morning. Solar activity during the past 24 hours increased to low levels with minor C-Flares detected around sunspot 2403 located in the southeast quadrant. The active region continued to gradually expand during the past day and has a Beta-Gamma magnetic classification. There will remain a chance for C-Flares and now perhaps an isolated M-Flare. Elsewhere, region 2401 in the southwest quadrant was stable and non threatening. No Earth directed coronal mass ejections were observed during the past day. Stay tuned to SolarHam.com for the latest data and imagery.

August 18, 2015 @ 13:10 UTC
Solar Update
Good morning. Here is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Tuesday. Solar activity remains at very low levels with no noteworthy solar flares to report. New region 2403 continues to move into view off the southeast limb and appears to be fairly stable. No Earth directed coronal mass ejections were observed during the past day.

A minor (G1) geomagnetic storm watch will remain in effect while a high speed solar wind continues to stream past our planet.

Stay tuned to SolarHam.com for the latest data and imagery.

August 16, 2015 @ 13:00 UTC
Geomagnetic Storm Flareup
Good morning. Geomagnetic storming continued on Saturday night and into early Sunday morning at high latitudes. An elevated solar wind stream above 500 km/s combined with an extended period of southward Bz to contribute to the storm. Aurora was reported across many locations from Northern Europe, Canada and the northern tier USA. Additional flareups in activity will remain possible during the next 12-24 hours. Attached is a fantastic photo from last night courtesy of Kevin Sharman in Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia, Canada. Thanks for sharing!

Another nice image by Jay Reau from Sweden.

August 15, 2015 @ 23:55 UTC
Shock Passage Detected / Geomagnetic Storm Warning (UPDATED)
UPDATE #2 @ 23:50 UTC: The moderate (G2) to strong (G3) geomagnetic storm has subsided and conditions have returned to quieter levels. Additional storming will remain possible however as the solar wind remains elevated. This combined with periods of southward Bz could move the Kp index back above 5 during the next 24 hours. Sky watchers at high latitudes should remain alert for visible aurora displays.

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The ACE spacecraft detected a shock passage early Saturday morning. The solar wind speed is currently near 500 km/s and the Bz component of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) is currently pointing south. This in conjunction with an expected coronal hole stream could lead to minor geomagnetic storming during the next few days. Sky watchers should be alert for visual aurora displays at higher latitudes.

SUMMARY: Geomagnetic Sudden Impulse
Observed: 2015 Aug 15 0745 UTC
Deviation: 36 nT
Station: Niemegk

UPDATE @ 12:15 UTC: To our surprise, a Strong (G3) Geomagnetic Storm is currently in progress at high latitudes. Sky watchers should be alert for visual aurora if it is still dark outside.

ALERT: Geomagnetic K-index of 7
Threshold Reached: 2015 Aug 15 1143 UTC
Synoptic Period: 0900-1200 UTC
Active Warning: Yes
NOAA Scale: G3 - Strong

August 13, 2015 @ 15:55 UTC
Solar Update
Hello again folks. Below is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Thursday. Solar activity is currently at very low levels. Region 2396 is stable as it prepares to turn onto the west limb. New sunspot 2400 grew slightly, but was otherwise stable. A small new sunspot is forming in the southeast quadrant and should be numbered 2401 later today. A coronal mass ejection (CME) observed on Wednesday following a southwest quadrant filament eruption looks to be headed away from our planet. A noteworthy impact to our geomagnetic field is unlikely. Stay tuned to SolarHam.com for the latest spaceweather data and imagery.

August 11, 2015 @ 14:25 UTC
Solar Update
Good morning. Here is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Tuesday. Solar activity is at very low levels with no real solar flares of interest to report. Region 2396 has so far failed to generate a noteworthy flare event and continues to move closer towards the west limb. All other visible regions are stable and non threatening. C-Class solar flares will remain possible during the next 24 hours with a small chance for an isolated M-Flare. No Earth directed coronal mass ejections were detected during the past day. Stay tuned to SolarHam.com for the latest data and imagery.

August 9, 2015 @ 12:25 UTC
Solar Update
Hello again folks. Here is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Sunday. Solar activity during the past 24 hours was low. Region 2396 produced a minor C4.2 flare at 07:52 UTC early Sunday morning. The region showed minor spot growth within the center of the group during the past 12 hours and will remain a threat for an isolated M-Flare. All other regions are currently stable. A filament was seen lifting off near the northwest limb beginning at approximately 10:45 UTC (Aug 9), however is not expected to be geoeffective. No Earth directed coronal mass ejections were observed during the past day.

Although geomagnetic activity is at relatively low levels, a minor (G1) geomagnetic storm watch will remain in effect while a high speed solar wind stream continues to move past our planet. Stay tuned to SolarHam.com for the latest information.

August 7, 2015 @ 13:55 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. Big sunspot 2396 produced occasional C-Flares during the past day. The active region has a beta-gamma magnetic configuration and will remain a threat for an isolated M-Flare. All other visible regions are stable and non threatening at this time.

The solar wind remains elevated above 500 km/s this morning. The Bz component of the interplanetary magnetic field is currently pointing south (-7 nT). A brief period of minor (G1) geomagnetic storming was observed early Friday morning at higher latitudes. Additional flareups in geomagnetic activity will remain possible during the next few days while the high speed stream remains geoeffective. Stay tuned to SolarHam.com for the latest data and imagery.

August 6, 2015 @ 12:15 UTC
Aurora Watch
An expected high speed solar wind stream reached Earth Thursday morning and could lead to minor (G1) geomagnetic storming at higher latitudes during the next 24 hours. Sky watchers should be alert for visual aurora tonight once it is dark outside.

August 4, 2015 @ 13:30 UTC
Solar Update
Good morning. Below is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Tuesday. Solar activity is currently at very low levels. New region 2396 continues to evolve in the southeast quadrant and is considered an increased threat for at least C-Class solar flares. Elsewhere, region 2394 did show minor growth during the past day, but was otherwise stable. No Earth directed coronal mass ejections were observed during the past day. Stay tuned to SolarHam.com for the latest data and imagery.

August 3, 2015 @ 14:20 UTC
Limb Activity
Good morning. Solar activity on Monday remains at fairly low levels with no noteworthy Earth facing solar flares to report. Activity beyond the east limb is a different story however with a large coronal mass ejection (CME) observed late on Sunday. Another event of interest just occurred within the past few hours of this update. Below is a short video courtesy of the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) using the 304 angstroms channel capturing an eruptive prominence off the southeast limb. Neither event should have a major impact on our planet. Is an increase in Earth facing activity on the horizon? Stay tuned to SolarHam.com to find out.

August 1, 2015 @ 13:20 UTC
Solar Update
Good morning and welcome to the first day of August. Here is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Saturday. Solar activity remains at very low levels with no noteworthy solar flares to report. All visible sunspot regions are stable and non threatening. Region 2390 is now about to rotate onto the west limb and will soon be out of direct Earth view. No Earth directed coronal mass ejections were observed during the past day.

A high speed solar wind stream currently above 500 km/s continues to move past our planet, however the Bz component of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) carried within it has been predominately pointing north, a condition known to suppress geomagnetic activity. A minor storm watch will remain in effect for the next 24 hours.

Stay tuned to SolarHam.com for the latest data and imagery.