SolarHam.com - Older News Archive (May 2015)

May 23, 2015 @ 11:50 UTC
Solar Update
Good morning. Here is an updated look at the visible solar disk as we begin a new weekend. Solar activity during the past 24 hours was low with minor C-Flares detected around both regions 2349 and 2353. Region 2349 showed minor growth during the past 12 hours as it moves across the southwest quadrant. Region 2353 did show signs of additional growth in both size and magnetic complexity and will remain a threat for at least C-Class solar flares. No Earth directed coronal mass ejections were detected during the past day. Stay tuned to SolarHam.com for the latest spaceweather data and imagery.

May 22, 2015 @ 04:30 UTC
Farsided Eruption and Coronal Mass Ejection
Good evening. At approximately 22:00 UTC Thursday evening (May 21), a large eruption originating from behind the northeast limb was responsible for a bright, fast moving coronal mass ejection (CME). Attached video below courtesy of the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) using the 304 angstroms channel, along with coronagraph imagery courtesy of LASCO C2 and C3, captures the noteworthy solar event. Because this was a non Earth facing eruption, there should be little to no impact on our planet. Meanwhile, on the Earth facing side of the sun, solar activity remains stuck at very low to low levels. Stay tuned to SolarHam.com for the latest spaceweather data and imagery.

May 21, 2015 @ 13:20 UTC
Solar Update
Good morning folks. Quiet times on the sun the past 24 hours with no noteworthy solar flares to report. Activity could remain at very low to low levels (C-Flares) in the short term. A new sunspot is forming in the northeast quadrant and will be monitored. No Earth directed coronal mass ejections were detected during the past day. Geomagnetic activity is also expected to be at quieter levels during the next 48 hours. Below is an updated image of the visible disk courtesy of the Solar Dynamics Observatory.

May 19, 2015 @ 13:15 UTC
Solar Update / Moderate Storming Observed
Good morning. Below is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Tuesday. Solar activity during the past 24 hours was low. A new sunspot located in the northeast quadrant (2351) produced a minor C2.3 flare at 11:59 UTC. All other numbered regions have been stable. There will remain a chance for minor C-Flares. No Earth directed coronal mass ejections were detected during the past day.

Geomagnetic storming reaching the moderate G2 level was observed at high latitudes. The disturbance was the result of an elevated solar wind stream which also included periods of southward Bz. A gradual decline to quieter levels should be expected during the next few days. Stay tuned for the latest information.

"Pillars over the Pond"

Above is a lovely new image courtesy of Mike Issak who captured the shot during a period of geomagnetic storming from near Opal, Alberta, Canada on May 19. Thanks for sharing!

May 19, 2015 @ 01:25 UTC
Geomagnetic Storm Warning (UPDATED)
Enhanced geomagnetic activity reaching minor (G1) storm levels is being observed at high latitudes on Monday evening. A solar wind stream near 500 km/s, coupled with a period of southward Bz is leading to the enhancement.Sky watchers at high latitudes should be alert for visible aurora tonight and into early Tuesday morning.

UPDATE @ 01:25 UTC: A Moderate (G2) Geomagnetic Storm Watch is now in effect. The Bz component of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) is again pointing south.

WARNING: Geomagnetic K-Index of 6 expected
Valid From: 2015 May 19 0050 UTC
Valid To: 2015 May 19 0600 UTC
Warning Condition: Onset
NOAA Scale: G2 - Moderate

Aurora From Scotland (May 19 @ 00:31 UTC)- by Stuart Cant

May 18, 2015 @ 12:10 UTC
Solar Update
Good morning. Here is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Monday. Solar activity during the past 24 hours was low. Region 2339 continues to move further behind the west limb and is no longer a threat for Earth directed solar flares.The visible disk is left with 6 numbered regions, including newly assigned sunspots 2349 and 2350. Each do not appear to be a threat for noteworthy solar flares at this time. Another new sunspot is turning into view off the northeast limb and may be numbered later today. No Earth directed coronal mass ejections were detected during the past day. Stay tuned for the latest information.

May 17, 2015 @ 12:20 UTC
Solar Update
Good morning. Solar activity during the past 24 hours was at very low levels. Region 2339 is now turning onto the west limb and will soon be out of direct Earth view. All other visible regions are non threatening at this time. A northern hemisphere filament eruption on Saturday flung a coronal mass ejection (CME) into space and was directed well north of the Sun-Earth line.

A minor geomagnetic storm watch remains in effect. A faint, slow moving CME observed last Wednesday may deliver a glancing blow to our geomagnetic field. I do not personally expect much to come from this event. Hopefully I am proven wrong. Sky watchers should remain alert nonetheless.

May 14, 2015 @ 13:10 UTC
Solar Update / Coronal Mass Ejection (UPDATED)
Good morning. Here is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Thursday. Solar activity during the past 24 hours nearly reached moderate levels. A C9 solar flare and eruption was observed near region 2345, which is situated just to the east of region 2339. A coronal mass ejection (CME) was observed in LASCO coronagraph imagery and appears to have a slower moving Earth directed component. Although the main bulk of plasma is heading to the north, the weaker Earth directed component could arrive past Earth later this weekend by May 17. A noteworthy increase in geomagnetic activity is not expected at this time. Elsewhere, only low level C-Flares were detected around regions 2339 and 2342. There will remain a chance for an isolated M-Flare.

Geomagnetic activity is back to relatively quieter levels following a period of moderate G2 storming on Wednesday. Solar wind speeds remain elevated above 600 km/s and the Bz component of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) is currently in neutral territory. Additional storming is currently not in the forecast, however sky watchers should remain alert nonetheless.

CME UPDATE: A minor (G1) geomagnetic storm watch was issued by NOAA beginning on May 17. The faint CME observed on Wednesday could deliver a glancing blow to our geomagnetic field. Sky watchers at high latitudes should be alert later this weekend.

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

Beautiful Aurora from Alberta, Canada courtesy of Andrew Caitens

May 13, 2015 @ 09:30 UTC
Moderate Geomagnetic Storm / Aurora Watch
An enhanced solar wind stream now above 700 km/s is currently flowing past Earth. Moderate (G2) geomagnetic storming is being observed at high latitudes. Sky watchers should remain alert for visual aurora displays if it is dark outside.

ALERT: Geomagnetic K-index of 6
Threshold Reached: 2015 May 13 0859 UTC
Synoptic Period: 0600-0900 UTC
Active Warning: Yes
NOAA Scale: G2 - Moderate

May 12, 2015 @ 12:50 UTC
Filament Eruption and CME
Good morning folks. Below is a neat video combination courtesy of the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) using the 304 angstroms channel and LASCO C2. A nice looking filament eruption near the west limb produced a westerly directed coronal mass ejection (CME) during the early hours of May 12. Proton levels streaming past Earth are now enhanced, however remain below the minor radiation storm threshold.

Solar activity in terms of detectable X-Ray flares remains low. An isolated M-Flare will remain possible with sunspot 2339 being the most likely to produce such an event.

A minor geomagnetic storm watch remains in effect as an enhanced solar wind stream streams past our planet. Sky watchers should remain alert for visible aurora displays at high latitudes.

May 11, 2015 @ 12:40 UTC
Solar Update / Filament Eruption
Good morning. Solar activity during the past 24 hours continued at low levels with only minor C-Class flares detected. All visible sunspot regions, including 2339 are fairly stable this morning. Region 2242 did show some growth during the past day and will be monitored. A filament located between regions 2242 and 2243 erupted early Monday morning and a stream of plasma was seen towering above the eruption site following the event. This was also detected as a C2.5 Hyder Flare at 04:09 UTC. A coronal mass ejection (CME) may be associated, however updated coronagraph imagery is required to determine this. Due to the location, this is not expected to be Earth directed.

Solar wind speeds gradually increased slightly to near 400 km/s and the Bz component of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) has been trending south for extended periods. A minor (G1) geomagnetic storm watch is in effect for the next 48-72 hours as a coronal hole stream becomes geoeffective.

Aurora From Scotland (May 11) - By Graeme Whipps

Another nice image from last night by Frédéric Peron in Quebec, Canada.

Attached video above by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) using the 304 angstroms channel captures the aforementioned filament eruption and hyder flare event between regions 2342 and 2343.

May 10, 2015 @ 13:10 UTC
Solar Update
Solar activity during the past 24 hours was low with only low level C-Flares observed around sunspot 2339. The cluster of sunspots continue to spread apart and appears to be slowly decaying. Isolated moderate M-Flares will remain possible however. All other visible regions were either stable or in a state of decay. No Earth directed coronal mass ejections were detected during the past day.

Elevated geomagnetic activity will be possible during the next several days, including periods of minor (G1) storming at high latitudes. A co-rotating interaction region (CIR) coupled with an coronal hole solar wind stream is expected to become geoeffective.

Attached is a 5 day video by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) using the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI) instrument showing the rotation of sunspot group 2339 across the northeast quadrant.

May 9, 2015 @ 11:00 UTC
Double Eruption
Below is an awesome video courtesy of the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) using the 304 angstroms channel capturing a pair of eruptions at nearly the same time during the early hours of May 9 (UTC). A filament stretching across the northeast quadrant sprung loose before appearing to be reabsorbed by the sun. In addition, a prominence off the east limb erupted while flinging a large quantity of plasma into space. A coronal mass ejection (CME) was observed in the latest imagery and appears to be directed away from our planet.

May 8, 2015 @ 13:00 UTC
Solar Update
Good morning. Below 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 around sprawling sunspot 2339. Despite being a large cluster of sunspots, the magnetic layout of the region has not been able to generate noteworthy solar flares during the past day. Region 2339 continues to evolve however with new spot formation within the center of the group and a moderate to strong solar flare will remain a possibility. All other visible regions are currently stable. No Earth directed coronal mass ejections were observed during the past day.

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

May 7, 2015 @ 13:00 UTC
Solar Update
Good morning. Below is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Thursday. Solar activity during the past 24 hours declined to low levels with only C-Flares detected around sunspot cluster 2339. Despite the lull in noteworthy activity, the cluster remains relatively complex and will remain a threat for additional moderate M-Flares and a lower threat for a major X-Flare. The other sunspot of interest, region 2335, continued to slowly decay and is a decreasing threat for strong solar flares. All other visible numbered regions were stable. Two new sunspots turned into view off the east limb and appear to magnetically simple and non threatening at this time. A couple of weak coronal mass ejections were detected on Wednesday, including one generated by a southern hemisphere filament eruption, however neither should have much of an impact on our geomagnetic field.

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

May 6, 2015 @ 14:20 UTC
Minor Geomagnetic Storm Observed
With the help of a primarily south pointing Bz component of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) carried past Earth via the solar wind, a minor (G1) geomagnetic storm is now being observed at higher latitudes. This takes place in the wake of a relatively weak shock passage on Tuesday evening.

ALERT: Geomagnetic K-index of 5
Threshold Reached: 2015 May 06 1409 UTC
Synoptic Period: 1200-1500 UTC
Active Warning: Yes
NOAA Scale: G1 - Minor

May 6, 2015 @ 03:50 UTC
X2.7 Solar Flare + CME / Weak CME Passage
Good evening. Below is a video compilation by both the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) and LASCO C2/C3 capturing an impulsive X2.7 solar flare / CME on Tuesday evening at 22:11 UTC around sunspot 2339. The flare was associated with a Type II Radio emission with an estimated velocity of 1163 km/s, along with a short duration radio burst (TenFlare) measuring 590 solar flux units (SFU). The coronal mass ejection (CME) generated by this event is directed to the northeast and away from our planet. Future potential eruptions could have an Earth directed component as the source region moves into a better geoeffective position.

Sunspot 2239

Weak CME Passage

In other news, an expected glancing blow CME shock from a filament eruption on May 2nd swept past Earth at 01:43 UTC (May 6). The solar wind is currently streaming past Earth above 450 km/s and the Bz/IMF component is variable. Minor geomagnetic activity is possible at very high latitudes.

May 5, 2015 @ 17:45 UTC
Additional Flaring
More flaring to report on Tuesday. An M1.2 flare was detected around region 2339 at 13:53 UTC. This was followed up by an M1.3 flare around region 2335 in the southeast quadrant at 14:25 UTC. Region 2335 would again flare at 17:24 UTC with a fairly rapid M2.6 event (pictured). Additional soalr flares will remain possible around both regions 2335 and 2339.

May 5, 2015 @ 13:00 UTC
Return of Sunspot 2322 / M1.9 Solar Flare
Good morning folks. Here is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Tuesday. Solar activity during the past 24 hours increased to moderate levels. Old sunspot 2322, now reassigned AR 2339, is turning back into view off the east limb and produced an M1.9 solar flare at 09:47 UTC (May 5). Additional flaring above the moderate M1.0 threshold will remain a possibility. Elsewhere, minor C-Flares were detected around regions 2335 and 2338. Region 2335 is magnetically complex with signs of a weak delta formation within the center of the group and will remain a threat for a moderate M-Flare. No Earth directed coronal mass ejections were observed in coronagraph imagery during the past day.

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

May 4, 2015 @ 12:55 UTC
Sunspot 2335 / Active Region Behind East Limb
Good morning. Here is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Monday. Solar activity during the past 24 hours was low. Region 2335 produced a number of minor C-Flares including a C8.0 at 00:52 UTC. The active region continued to expand and now has Beta-Gamma magnetic classification. There is now an increased chance for a moderate M-Flare. All other visible regions, 2336, 2337 and 2338 showed minor signs of growth, but were otherwise stable. An approaching active region located behind the east limb was responsible for a coronal mass ejection (CME) now visible in the latest coronagraph imagery. The source is possibly old sunspot 2322 from the previous rotation. We will begin to see the sunspot reappear during the next 48 hours. Increased solar activity could be on the horizon.

Stay tuned to SolarHam.com for the latest information.

May 3, 2015 @ 15:05 UTC
Solar Update / Possible Earth Directed CME
Good morning. Solar activity during the past 24 hours was low with a number of minor C-Flares detected around sunspot 2335. The active region did show signs of minor development and should continue to be monitored as it turns into a more geoeffective position. A new sunspot now numbered 2336 formed in the northeast quadrant, but is non threatening as of this update. A number of coronal mass ejections were again observed during the past 24 hours. Most appear to have originated off the farside of the sun, however one of them looks to be Earth directed following a southern hemisphere filament eruption. A minor impact to our geomagnetic field is predicted for late on May 6th. More updates in the days ahead.

Stay tuned to SolarHam.com for the latest information.

Latest CME Tracking Model

May 2, 2015 @ 12:55 UTC
Solar Update / Farsided Coronal Mass Ejection
Good morning. Here is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Saturday, along with a full halo coronal mass ejection (CME) observed on Friday evening. The impressive plasma cloud originated off of the farside of the sun and is not directed towards our planet. Solar activity on the Earth facing side of the sun is very low to start the weekend. Region 2335 located in the southeast quadrant was is a growth phase, but has since showed some stability. There will remain a chance for minor C-Class solar flares. No Earth directed coronal mass ejections were detected during the past day.

Stay tuned to SolarHam.com for the latest information.

May 1, 2015 @ 12:45 UTC
Solar Update
Good morning and welcome to the new month of May. Solar activity during the past 24 hours was low. A few low level C-Flares were detected around new sunspot 2335 which is now turning into view off the southeast limb. Region 2334 continued to decay and now nearly spotless. Additional C-Flares will remain possible as we end the week with region 2335 being the most likely source. No Earth directed coronal mass ejections were detected during the past day.

Solar wind speeds increased to near 450 km/s and is the result of a minor coronal hole stream. Geomagnetic storming is not in the forecast at this time.

Stay tuned to SolarHam.com for the latest information.