- Older News Archive (April 2014)

Added 04/21/2014 @ 14:15 UTC
Eruptive Limb
The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) provided us with a front row seat to multiple eruptive events off the northwest limb during the past couple of days. This full disk inverted video using the 304 angstroms channel shows at least 5 eruptions off the limb (top right in video). A number of coronal mass ejections were seen leaving the area in coronagraph imagery, but were each directed away from our planet due to the non geoeffective position. Enjoy the show!

Updated 04/21/2014 @ 13:00 UTC
Subdued CME Impact
Ground based magnetometers detected a deviation in ground current Sunday morning at 10:57 UTC and this signaled the passage of an incoming coronal mass ejection (CME) past our planet. Solar wind speeds as measured by the ACE Spacecraft increased to above 700 km/s, the same speed originally predicted by the WSA-Enlil Solar Wind model. Periods of Minor (G1) geomagnetic storming was observed at high latitudes. Despite an elevated solar wind speed, the Bz component of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) failed to point south for a long duration, a condition that is known to suppress geomagnetic activity. Regardless of the weaker impact, sky watchers last night were able to view some nice aurora displays, including the one captured below by Brian Drourr in Vermont, USA.

Vermont Aurora - Brian Drourr

More great images by Steven Elliot in British Columbia, Canada and Chris Ratzlaff in Alberta, Canada.

Added 04/20/2014 @ 00:30 UTC
Geomagnetic Storm Watch
A coronal mass ejection (CME) observed on Friday following an M7.3 solar flare around region 2036 is expected to sweep past our planet within the next 24-36 hours (April 20). The incoming shock may deliver a blow to our geomagnetic field and could lead to geomagnetic storming reaching the G1 (minor) or G2 (moderate) threshold. Sky watchers should remain alert on Sunday for the possibility or nice aurora displays. Stay Tuned.

Added 04/18/2014 @ 13:20 UTC
M7.3 Solar Flare Observed
A moderately strong solar flare measuring M7.3 was observed around region 2036 on Friday morning peaking at 13:03 UTC. A 10cm Radio Burst (TenFlare) measuring 1000 sfu and lasting 24 minutes was associated with the event. The flare itself was long in duration and a halo coronal mass ejection (CME) is now visible in the latest STEREO Ahead COR2 imagery. Additional imagery courtesy of LASCO C2 shows that a majority of the plasma was directed to the south, but a weaker Earth directed component is visible. An impact to our geomagnetic field will be possible within 48-72 hours. Stay tuned for the latest information. Click HERE for an updated event log. Imagery by SDO/EVE.

Radiation Storm: Energetic proton levels streaming past Earth continue to rise and are now at the minor (S1) radiation storm threshold.

ALERT: Proton Event 10MeV Integral Flux exceeded 10pfu
Begin Time: 2014 Apr 18 1525 UTC
NOAA Scale: S1 - Minor
Potential Impacts: Radio - Minor impacts on polar HF (high frequency) radio propagation resulting in fades at lower frequencies.

Added 04/18/2014 @ 12:15 UTC
Large Sunspots, Mostly Quiet (So Far)
A number of large Earth facing regions, including sunspots 2034, 2035 and 2036 continue to transit the visible disk today, but with the exception of a number of C-Class solar flares and one low level M-Flare event, have been mostly quiet so far. There will remain an ongoing threat for an isolated M-Class event as we head into the weekend. Each passing day will carry the active regions out of a geoeffective Earth facing position. Keep watching for the latest.

UPDATE: The quiet is over. An M7.3 solar flare was observed around region 2036. more to follow.

Added 04/13/2014 @ 13:45 UTC
Alberta Aurora
An enhanced period of geomagnetic activity Saturday night resulting from a prolonged period of southward Bz was enough to generate some nice aurora displays at high latitudes. Theresa Tanner sends us this photo that she captured last night around 11:30pm local time from just east of Red Deer, Alberta, Canada. Thanks for sharing!

Another image by Chris Ratzlaff in Alberta.

Updated 04/12/2014 @ 15:40 UTC
Geomagnetic Storm Observed
The Bz component of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) tipped south for a long duration on Friday evening and generated a minor G1 level geomagnetic storm (KP=5) at high latitudes. The increase in geomagnetic activity helped to trigger nice aurora displays at high latitudes. Conditions have since returned to more quieter levels.

Added 04/10/2014 @ 02:50 UTC
Around the Corner
One or more active regions, likely the return of old region 2010 and company, are about to begin their journey back onto the visible solar disk. The solar X-Rays are indicating C-Class activity while still behind the east limb. More updates in the days ahead.

Added 04/06/2014 @ 02:25 UTC
Weak CME Impact
Good evening. Below is a nice aurora image sent to us by Joni Alavesa who captured this particular shot Saturday night from Raattama, Lapland, Finland. A weak CME impact did not generate a geomagnetic storm, however when you are located near the Arctic Circle, aurora displays are very common with only the slightest gust of solar wind. Thanks Joni for sharing!

Added 04/05/2014 @ 12:45 UTC
Monster Prominence Eruption
A monster sized prominence erupted Friday night off the southeast limb and flung a bright coronal mass ejection (CME) into space. The plasma cloud appears to be directed away from our planet. The planet Earth is inserted into the image to give you an idea of just how large the eruption was. Imagery by SDO/LASCO C2.

Updated 04/02/2014 @ 20:45 UTC
M6.5 Solar Flare Observed
A rather noisy and long duration solar flare event measuring M6.5 was observed around sunspot 2027 at 14:05 UTC. The flare was associated with an asymmetrical coronal mass ejection that became visible soon after in STEREO Ahead imagery. Because the source region is located close to the northeast limb, the blast was directed mostly away from our planet. Only a minor glancing blow impact will be possible by April 4th. More information to follow. Click HERE for a video.

View full event log

SUMMARY: 10cm Radio Burst
Begin Time: 2014 Apr 02 1341 UTC
Maximum Time: 2014 Apr 02 1357 UTC
End Time: 2014 Apr 02 1407 UTC
Duration: 26 minutes
Peak Flux: 3700 sfu
Description: A 10cm radio burst indicates that the electromagnetic burst associated with a solar flare at the 10cm wavelength was double or greater than the initial 10cm radio background. This can be indicative of significant radio noise in association with a solar flare. This noise is generally short-lived but can cause interference for sensitive receivers including radar, GPS, and satellite communications.

ALERT: Type II Radio Emission
Begin Time: 2014 Apr 02 1323 UTC
Estimated Velocity: 903 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.