- Older News Archive (April 2016)

April 24, 2016 @ 01:00 UTC
Storm Watch (UPDATED)
An elevated solar wind stream reached Earth on Friday and brought along with it enhanced geomagnetic activity at higher latitudes, but failed to generate a geomagnetic storm. Storm conditions are no longer expected. Further updates will be provided if necessary.

Better Late Than Never: Minor (G1) Storm conditions observed afterall. Gentle solar wind enhancements generated a minor storm at higher latitudes late Saturday evening. Sky watchers at higher latitudes should be alert for visible aurora tonight.

April 21, 2016 @ 22:50 UTC
Aurora Watch
A geomagnetic storm watch was added for April 23rd. A coronal hole will be turning into a geoeffective position and a solar wind stream flowing from this hole is expected to generate minor (G1) storming at higher latitudes. Sky watchers at higher latitudes should be alert for visible aurora once the stream arrives if local daylight and weather conditions allows.

April 18, 2016 @ 00:50 UTC
M6.7 Solar Flare Detected (UPDATED)
Surprise! Region 2529 just produced a moderately strong M6.7 Solar Flare peaking at 00:29 UTC (April 18). A Type II radio emission with an estimated velocity of 1869 km/s was detected. More information regarding a possible coronal mass ejection (CME) to follow. Image below courtesy of the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) using the 131 angstroms channel.

ALERT: Type II Radio Emission
Begin Time: 2016 Apr 18 0030 UTC
Estimated Velocity: 1869 km/s

CME UPDATE: Updated coronagraph imagery courtesy of the STEREO Ahead spacecraft confirms that a coronal mass ejection (CME) was generated by the M6.7 solar flare this evening around region 2529. Because the active region is approaching the west limb, the explosion is likely directed mostly towards the west. Will provide another update in the morning once Earth facing LASCO imagery is available.

CME UPDATE #2: As expected, Earth facing coronagraph imagery confirms that the Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) following the M6.7 solar flare is directed to the west and is not likely to deliver a noteworthy impact to our geomagnetic field. Image by LASCO C2.

April 15, 2016 @ 02:15 UTC
Solar Update
Good evening. Below is a nice aurora photo courtesy of Fred Péron who captured this shot last night from Gaspé Peninsula, Québec, Canada during a period of enhanced geomagnetic activity. Earth is now exiting a high speed solar wind stream and geomagnetic conditions are expected to return to quieter levels during the next 24 hours. Sky watchers at very high latitudes should still remain alert for visible aurora as brief flareups may still be possible.

In other news, region 2529 continues to rotate across the northern hemisphere of the sun and is producing occasional minor C-Class solar flares. It appears that a very small delta is present within the trailing section of the group and this could lead to additional C-Flares, or perhaps an isolated M-Flare. More updates to follow if necessary. Stay tuned to for the most up to date information.

April 13, 2016 @ 21:00 UTC
Geomagnetic Storming Observed (UPDATED)
A minor (G1) geomagnetic storm was observed late Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning as a high speed solar wind stream moved past our planet. Elevated geomagnetic activity will remain possible during the next day while the coronal hole stream remains geoeffective. Sky watchers from Scandinavia, Canada, northern tier USA and Alaska should be alert for visible aurora once dark outside. Sacha Layos from Fairbanks, Alaska send us the beautiful photo below capturing a lovely aurora display during the storm. A great way to end the aurora season which is now winding down. Thanks for sharing!

April 12, 2016 @ 00:30 UTC
Geomagnetic Storm Watch
Good evening. A minor (G1) geomagnetic storm watch was officially added for late on April 13th and into the 14th. An elevated solar wind stream flowing from a a series of coronal holes is expected to become geoeffective. Sky watchers at higher latitudes should be alert for visible aurora during the next 48-72 hours. Image below courtesy of SDO/AIA.

April 10, 2016 @ 18:00 UTC
Solar Update
Good afternoon. Solar activity remains at low levels with only minor C-Class flares detected around region 2529 during the past 24 hours. The sunspot group will remain a threat for minor C-Flares and perhaps an isolated M-Flare during the next 24-48 hours. A couple of filament eruptions were observed across the northeast quadrant on Sunday, however an Earth directed coronal mass ejection (CME) does not appear likely at this time. I will provide further updates if necessary. Lastly, a pair of coronal holes will turn into a geoeffective position later this week and an elevated solar wind stream flowing from these holes could lead to enhanced geomagnetic activity at higher latitudes. More to follow this week.

Below is an updated look at region 2529, along with a small new sunspot in formation. Image courtesy of SDO/HMI.

April 9, 2016 @ 13:00 UTC
Sleeping Giant
Region 2529 is now in view and is indeed a large sunspot. In fact, the leader spot is larger than our planet Earth. The region however is not magnetically complex (Beta Magnetic) and is unlikely to produce a major solar flare, at least in the short term. More updates in the days ahead if necessary. Imagery below by SDO/HMI.

April 7, 2016 @ 20:10 UTC
Aurora Watch / Bz South (UPDATED)
The Bz component of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) has been pointing south for a long duration and this is stirring up elevated geomagnetic activity on Thursday evening. A minor (G1) geomagnetic storm watch is now in effect. Sky watchers at higher latitudes should be alert for visible aurora once dark outside.

UPDATE @ 20:45 UTC: A minor (G1) geomagnetic storm is now in progress.

ALERT: Geomagnetic K-index of 5
Threshold Reached: 2016 Apr 07 2040 UTC
Synoptic Period: 1800-2100 UTC
Active Warning: Yes
NOAA Scale: G1 - Minor

April 3, 2016 @ 17:00 UTC
Geomagnetic Storm Observed (UPDATED)
An elevated solar wind stream contributed to isolated periods of minor to moderate geomagnetic storming on Saturday and into early Sunday morning. Ian Jones sends us the nice aurora image below that he captured from Greenland. "As usual, I have been watching the website and got lucky tonight witnessing a really fantastic display in western Greenland in the city of Ilulissat. The KP was 6 at the time this photo was taken. I was so far north that the aurora was seen to the south." Thanks Ian for sharing!

Geomagnetic storming has since subsided and conditions are expected to gradually return to quieter levels during the next 24 hours.

April 1, 2016 @ 15:50 UTC
Solar Update
Hello again folks and welcome to the month of April. Hard to believe that the SolarHam website has now been online for 10 years! Thank You to everybody who continues to support the site. I appreciate it.

Below is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Friday. Solar activity remains at a stand still and that trend is likely to continue in the short term. The solar flux index, one of the main measurements of solar activity, continued to drop and is now at 82.

One possible bright spot, an enhanced solar wind stream is expected to become geoeffective during the next 24-48 hours and is predicted to generate Minor (G1) geomagnetic storming at higher latitudes. More updates whenever necessary. Stay tuned to for the latest data and imagery.