SolarHam.com - Older News Archive (December 2014)

December 16, 2014 @ 15:55 UTC
Finals Week Aurora
Ian Johnson in Fairbanks, Alaska sends us this beautiful aurora photo he captured Monday night (Dec 15). "I wanted to share this photo with you taken from last night (12/15/2014 @ 11:30 PM). Iím a student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and with finals week I couldnít go further than my house to photograph and watch last night. I watched the ovation and data on your site while studying until 10:30pm and then out the door I went." Cool photo Ian and thanks for sharing with the SolarHam viewers. Sky watchers around the Arctic Circle should remain alert for visible aurora while an elevated solar wind stream passes our planet.

December 16, 2014 @ 12:15 UTC
Solar Update
Good morning folks. Attached is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Tuesday, including a closeup view of regions 2241 and 2242. Solar activity during the past 24 hours was low with a number of C-Flares detected around both of the active regions (2241 and 2242). Each region continued to expand during the past day in both size and magnetic complexity. There is an increasing chance for moderate M-Class flaring during the next few days. All other visible regions were stable. No Earth directed coronal mass ejections were observed during the past 24 hours. Stay tuned for the latest information.

December 15, 2014 @ 12:30 UTC
Solar Update
Good morning. Below is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Monday, along with an eruption of plasma off the southeast limb captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). Solar activity during the past 24 hours was moderate. Newly numbered region 2242 which formed just to the southeast of region 2237, produced an M1.6 solar flare at 19:33 UTC. A coronal mass ejection (CME) became visible soon after in LASCO C2 imagery, but appears to be headed away from Earth. The active region also went on to generate a number of minor C-Class solar flares. Regions 2239, 2241 and 2242 displayed varying degrees of growth during the past day, whereas all other numbered regions were either stable or in a state of decay. There will remain a chance for an M-Class solar flare on Monday.Stay tuned for the latest information.

December 14, 2014 @ 15:20 UTC
Sunspot Increase / Farsided Coronal Mass Ejection
Good morning. Below is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Sunday. Solar activity during the past 24 hours was low. There are currently ten numbered regions on the Earth facing side of the sun, including newly assigned regions 2239, 2240 and 2241. Rapid spot growth was observed near the trailing section of region 2237. A number of C-Flares were observed within this region. Sunspot 2241 also showed signs of growth and is also producing C-Flares. All other regions were mostly stable. A moderate M-Flare will be possible during the next 24 hours. A significant farsided solar flare was observed on Saturday around old region 2222. The event hurled a bright and fast moving coronal mass ejection (CME) into space and away from our planet. The event was large enough to elevate low energy proton levels streaming past our planet, but currently sits below the minor radiation storm threshold. Stay tuned for the latest information.

December 14, 2014 @ 03:30 UTC
High Latitude Aurora
Enhanced solar wind conditions contributed to elevated geomagnetic activity around the Arctic Circle during the past few days. Below is a fantastic image sent to us by Sebastian Saarloos who captured the photo on Friday night (Dec 12 @ 11:45pm local time) from Donnelly Creek, Alaska."Temp was about -10F and the aurora was mild most of the night, but did produce a nice little burst of color higher off of the horizon which I captured here reflecting off of the creek." Great job Sebastian and thanks for sharing! Sky watchers at high latitudes should remain alert as we end the weekend.

December 13, 2014 @ 15:45 UTC
Solar Update / Moderate Activity
Good morning. Here is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Saturday. Solar activity during the past 24 hours was moderate with a number of C-Flares, and one M-Class solar flare detected. A new active region turning into view off the east limb produced an M1.5 solar flare at 05:20 UTC (Dec 13). The same region was also responsible for a few mid to upper level C-Flares. Region 2227 also produced minor C-Flares as it continued to move closer towards the west limb. All other visible sunspots were fairly stable.No Earth directed coronal mass ejections were observed during the past day. An isolated M-Flare will remain possible this weekend. Stay tuned for the latest information.

December 12, 2014 @ 12:30 UTC
Solar Update / Aurora Watch
Good morning. Below is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Friday. Solar activity is currently low. Old region 2209, now only a fraction of what it once was, was reassigned number 2237. Region 2230 displayed new spot growth during the past 12 hours and should be monitored. All other visible regions are currently stable. Minor C-Flares and perhaps an isolated M-Flare will remain possible as we head into the weekend. A large filament located in the northern hemisphere erupted early Friday morning. A coronal mass ejection (CME) was flung into space and appears to be headed north of the Sun-Earth line.

Solar wind speeds are expected to increase once again due to a coronal hole stream becoming geoeffective. Minor geomagnetic activity will be possible at high latitudes. Sky watchers should remain alert during the next few days.

December 12, 2014 @ 05:30 UTC
Large Filament Eruption
A noteworthy eruption was observed beginning at 00:00 UTC (Dec 12). A large filament, sandwiched between two coronal holes in the northern hemisphere, lifted off and likely hurled a coronal mass ejection (CME) into space. Although coronagraph imagery is currently limited, based on a video run courtesy of the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), the ejected material will likely be directed mostly north of the Sun-Earth line. More updates regarding this event once additional imagery becomes available. Attached is a composite video courtesy of SDO using the 171 and 304 angstroms channel.

December 11, 2014 @ 13:00 UTC
Solar Update
Good morning. Attached is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Thursday, along with a large prominence currently turning into view off the southeast limb. Solar activity during the past 24 hours was low with minor C-Flares detected around regions 2230, 2234 and old region 2209. The former giant (2209, 2192), now only a fraction in size compared to what it once was, is turning into view off the southeast limb and should be assigned a new number later today. Elsewhere, a new sunspot is turning into view high in latitude off the northeast limb. So far it does not appear to be very threatening. Region 2234 expanded somewhat during the past 12 hours, whereas all other numbered regions were fairly stable. There will remain a chance for an isolated M-Flare. No Earth directed coronal mass ejections were observed during the past day.

December 10, 2014 @ 15:55 UTC
Solar Update / The Return of 2209
Good morning. Here is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Wednesday. Solar activity during the past 24 hours was low with only minor C-Flares detected. Region 2230 in the southern hemisphere may be the most likely source for flare activity during the next 24 hours. What remains of old region 2209 is now turning into view off the southeast limb. We will get a better look during the next 24 hours. It should be noted that at the time of this update, an eruption of sorts, possibly involving a filament, appears to be in progress to the west of region 2230. More updates on this later today if necessary.

Solar wind speeds continue to gradually decline and is currently below 500 km/s. Isolated periods of enhanced geomagnetic activity will remain possibly at very high latitudes.

December 9, 2014 @ 15:55 UTC
Solar Update
Good morning. Attached is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Tuesday. Solar activity during the past 24 hours was technically low, although a number of mid to upper level C-Flares were observed around region 2230. This includes a C8.1 at 08:30 UTC and a C8.6 at 10:24 UTC. The active region expanded considerably during the past day and should continue to be monitored. All other visible regions were stable. An isolated M-Flare will be possible during the next 24 hours. What remains of old region 2209 is due to return into view during the next day or so. A small sunspot did turn into view off the east limb this morning, but is situated lower in latitude than the previous location of old region 2209.

Solar wind speeds continued to gradually decline during the past day but remain above 500 km.s. The high speed stream flowing from a large southern hemisphere coronal hole could still stir up enhanced geomagnetic activity at high latitudes. Sky watchers should remain alert.

December 8, 2014 @ 12:35 UTC
Solar Update
Good morning. Here is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Monday. Solar activity during the past 24 hours remained low with no noteworthy solar flares to report. Region 2222 is now turning onto the west limb and out of direct Earth view. All remaining visible sunspots, including 2231 and 2232 remain stable for now. What remains of old region 2209 (ex-2192) is expected to turn back into view off the southeast limb later this week. No Earth directed coronal mass ejections were observed during the past day.

Solar wind speeds remain above 600 km/s and the Bz component of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) is mostly variable. Enhanced geomagnetic activity will remain possible at higher latitudes.

December 8, 2014 @ 02:35 UTC
Aurora Watch (UPDATED)
Our geomagnetic field remains under the influence of a high speed solar wind stream on Sunday night. Enhanced geomagnetic activity reaching minor (G1) storm levels is being observed at high latitudes. Sky watchers should remain alert for visual aurora displays. Attached is a beautiful image courtesy of Ronn and Marketa Murray captured on Saturday from Alaska. The moon halo, caused by the refraction of light through tiny ice crystals in the upper atmosphere, makes an appearance at just the right time with a little (by Alaskan Standards) aurora show taking place high above.

December 6, 2014 @ 15:35 UTC
Solar Update
Good morning. Attached is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Saturday. Solar activity declined to low levels with a number of C-Flares observed during the past 24 hours. The source of this activity, region 2222, showed gradual signs of decay as it continued to move across the southwest quadrant. All other visible regions were stable. An isolated M-Flare is still a possibility. New regions 2229 and 2230 were numbered, but are struggling to remain visible. A coronal mass ejection (CME) is visible this morning in the latest LASCO imagery and looks to have originated off the west limb. It appears to be directed away from our planet. Stay tuned to SolarHam.com for the latest information.

December 5, 2014 @ 15:30 UTC
Solar Update / Higher Solar Activity
Good morning. Here is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Friday. Solar activity during the past 24 hours was high. Region 2222 produced the strongest event of the period, an M6.1 solar flare at 18:25 UTC (Dec 4). A coronal mass ejection (CME) was not associated with this event. The active region produced additional minor to moderate flares, including a longer duration M1.5 event at 12:25 UTC (Dec 5), If a CME is associated with this event, it is likely to be minor and directed away from Earth. A minor eruption in the vicinity of region 2226 near the southwest limb was detected just after 06:00 UTC (Dec 5) and was associated with Type II and IV radio emissions. A CME became visible in LASCO C2 imagery just after the time of this event and is directed to the west and away from Earth. All other visible sunspots were stable during the past day. Region 2222 will remain a threat for M-Class solar flares. Stay tuned to SolarHam.com for the latest information.

December 4, 2014 @ 18:30 UTC
Strong Solar Flare Observed
A noteworthy solar flare measuring M6.1 was observed around region 2222 peaking at 18:25 UTC. This resulted in a short lived R2 level radio blackout on the sunlit side of Earth. Unfortunately for sky watchers, the flare did not produce a coronal mass ejection. The active region will remain a threat for another isolated M-Flare event.

December 4, 2014 @ 17:20 UTC
Solar Update
Good afternoon. Below is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Thursday. Solar activity during the past 24 hours reached moderate levels. Region 2222 produced an M1.3 solar flare at 08:10 UTC. The active region was also responsible for a number of low to mid level C-Flares. In addition, minor C-Flares were observed around region 2226 and off the southeast limb. All other visible numbered regions were either stable or in a state of decay. Region 2222 will remain a threat for another M-Flare during the next few days. No Earth directed coronal mass ejections were detected during the past 24 hours. Stay tuned to SolarHam.com for the latest information.

December 3, 2014 @ 17:35 UTC
Solar Update
Below is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Wednesday. Solar activity during the past 24 hours was low. A number of low level C-Flares were observed, most of which were centered around region 2222. All other regions were fairly stable. An isolated M-Flare will remain a possibility. No Earth directed coronal mass ejections were observed during the past day.

December 2, 2014 @ 15:25 UTC
Solar Update / Aurora Watch
Good morning. Below is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Tuesday. Solar activity declined to low levels during the past 24 hours. A number of C-Flares were observed around regions 2217, 2222 and 2226. Each of these regions continued to show varying degrees of development during the past day. All other regions remained stable. Sunspots 2216 and 2219 are now about to turn onto the west limb and out of direct Earth view. A new and simple looking sunspot is rotating into view off the east limb and could be numbered 2227 later today. There will remain a chance for an isolated M-Flare.

Enhanced geomagnetic activity was observed at very high latitudes due to an elevated solar wind stream. Sky watchers around the Arctic Circle should remain alert for visible displays of aurora.

December 1, 2014 @ 12:20 UTC
Solar Update / M-Flare
Good morning and welcome to the first day of December. Solar activity during the past 24 hours reached moderate levels. Region 2222 produced an M1.8 solar flare at 06:41 UTC. The event was associated with a 10cm Radio Burst (TenFlare) lasting 6 minutes and measuring 180 solar flux units (SFU). A noteworthy coronal mass ejection (CME) is unlikely. All other visible regions have been fairly stable. New sunspot 2226 was numbered overnight after forming to the east of region 2217 in the southern hemisphere. There will remain a chance for an isolated M-Flare. Stay tuned to SolarHam.com for the latest information.