- Older News Archive (October 2016)

October 31, 2016 @ 00:50 UTC
Solar Update
Good evening. Below is an updated look at the visible solar disk as we head into October 31st, perhaps better known as Halloween. Despite being nearly spotless at the moment, the sun still attempts to deliver an evil glare towards us. Even at times of very low solar activity, spooky surprises may still be lurking. Geomagnetic activity also declined to relatively lifeless levels during the past several hours and this trend is expected to continue. Be sure to stay tuned to for the most up to date and sometimes otherworldly information.

October 26, 2016 @ 20:20 UTC
Geomagnetic Storm Continues
The persistent coronal hole stream, currently around 700 km/s continues to stream past our planet and fuel an ongoing geomagnetic storm. Minor (G1) to Moderate (G2) storming will likely persist during the next 24 hours. Great news for aurora sky watchers at high latitudes!

Below is a great photo from the storm courtesy of Gary Kallberg from Fox, Alaska. Additional photos, all from Alaska are listed below. Thanks for sharing!

Additional imagery courtesy of Laura Ferguson, Marketa Murray, Sacha Layos and Ian Johnson.

October 25, 2016 @ 18:00 UTC
Storm in Progress
The anticipated solar wind stream has arrived and Moderate (G2) to Strong (G3) geomagnetic storming is in progress at high latitudes. The current solar wind speed is between 650-750 km/s. Sky watchers should be alert for visible aurora once dark outside.

Aurora From Mosjøen, Norway - Morten Eriksen

October 25, 2016 @ 00:40 UTC
Coronal Hole Update / Geomagnetic Storm Watch
Two large coronal holes are now turning into a geoeffective Earth facing position. The solar wind speed should begin to increase within the next 12-24 hours. When this same coronal hole feature faced Earth in September, the solar wind speed increased to above 700 km/s and brought along with it periods of Moderate (G2) geomagnetic storming. It is very possible that the same outcome will take place again. Aurora sky watchers across Scandinavia, Northern Europe, Northern UK, Canada, Northern tier USA and Alaska should all be alert for visible aurora during the next several nights. Stay tuned to for the most up to date information. Attached image below courtesy of SDO/AIA.

Large Coronal Holes (Early Tuesday)

October 23, 2016 @ 00:45 UTC
Geomagnetic Storm Watch
A large coronal hole feature will turn into an Earth facing position this upcoming week and a high speed solar wind stream flowing from this zone may generate an extended period of geomagnetic storming. A watch for minor (G1) to moderate (G2) storming will be in effect over the next several days. Aurora sky watchers at higher latitudes could be in for a show. Stay tuned!

Large Coronal Hole (Early Sunday) - SDO/AIA

October 21, 2016 @ 15:00 UTC
Quick Solar Update
Hello again folks. Both solar activity on the Sun and geomagnetic activity around Earth are currently at quiet levels. An anticipated coronal hole stream may increase geomagnetic activity within the next 72 hours. Isolated periods of minor (G1) storming at very high latitudes is currently in the forecast beginning late on October 22nd. More updates to follow in the days ahead.

Visible Solar Disk (Friday) - SDO/HMI

October 16, 2016 @ 22:20 UTC
Geomagnetic Storm in Progress
A high speed solar wind stream is currently moving past Earth over 700 km/s and a minor (G1) geomagnetic storm is currently in progress. A moderate (G2) storm watch will also be in effect for the next 24 hours. High latitude sky watchers should be alert for visible aurora tonight once dark outside.

October 16, 2016 @ 00:40 UTC
Around The Bend (UPDATED)
Below is an updated video by LASCO C2 showing a pair of coronal mass ejections off the southeast limb in quick succession today (10/14/2016). Both are directed away from Earth. We will get a better look at the source region during the next 24-48 hours as the potential sunspot turns into Earth view.

UPDATE: The source of the second, faster moving CME I reported on yesterday is now in view. This appears to be the remnants of old region 2597 and as you can tell by this updated SDO image, there are no sunspots visible and is not very impressive. It is possible that a filament eruption near this region may have been the cause of the CME. Noteworthy solar flares are unlikely.

October 14, 2016 @ 16:00 UTC
Geomagnetic Storm Subsides
Periods of geomagnetic storming continued Friday morning following a CME passage on Wednesday. The initial impact to our geomagnetic field was weak, however the long duration sector of southward Bz that followed helped to generate the ongoing disturbance. This was great news for aurora sky watchers across many locations at higher latitudes. Below if a fantastic new image courtesy of Alexander Horn from Finland captured last night. Thanks for sharing!

More great imagery courtesy of Marketa Murray and Sacha Layos in Alaska.

October 13, 2016 @ 18:50 UTC
Moderate Storm in Progress (UPDATE)
The Bz component of the interplanetary magnetic field is currently pointing south and this is helping to generate minor (G1) storm conditions at higher latitudes. Visible aurora is likely across Canada, Alaska and the northern tier of the United States.

UPDATE: Moderate (G2) to Strong (G3) geomagnetic storming possible during the next 24 hours thanks to a long lasting sector of negative Bz. Visible aurora will be likely tonight at middle to high latitudes.

EXTENDED WARNING: Geomagnetic K-Index of 6 expected
Valid From: 2016 Oct 13 1237 UTC
Now Valid Until: 2016 Oct 14 0300 UTC
Warning Condition: Persistence

October 12, 2016 @ 22:20 UTC
CME Impact / Aurora Watch (UPDATED)
A sudden increase in solar wind speed was detected within the past hour by the DSCOVR spacecraft and may be related to the CME observed on October 9th. So far the initial impact appears to be fairly weak and may not be enough to trigger a geomagnetic storm, at least in the short term. The chances for storming will increase in the days ahead when a coronal hole stream is expected to become geoeffective. Sky watchers at higher latitudes should still be alert for visible aurora tonight once dark outside. Continue to to monitor the SolarHam website for the most up to date information.

UPDATE: This notice has been updated to advise you that a geomagnetic sudden impulse measuring 33nT was detected at 22:14 UTC. This signals the passage of the interplanetary shock past Earth. It should also be noted that sudden changes within the solar wind parameters, such as a negative Bz could boost the chances for geomagnetic storming within the next several hours. More updates to follow whenever necessary.

SUMMARY: Geomagnetic Sudden Impulse
Observed: 2016 Oct 12 2214 UTC
Deviation: 33 nT
Station: FRD

October 11, 2016 @ 00:35 UTC
CME Observed (UPDATED)
A faint, slow moving coronal mass ejection (CME) observed on Sunday is expected to possibly reach Earth by October 13th. Enhanced geomagnetic activity may be possible at higher latitudes. More updates in the days ahead.

UPDATE: A Minor (G1) geomagnetic storm watch will be in effect beginning late on October 13th (Thursday) UTC time. The above mentioned CME could deliver a glancing blow to our geomagnetic field. Sky watchers at higher latitudes should be alert for visual aurora within the next 72 hours.

October 6, 2016 @ 00:45 UTC
Solar Update
Good evening. Here is an updated look at the visible solar disk. Solar activity is currently at very low levels. Both sunspot regions 2598 and 2599 are stable. There will remain a chance for an isolated minor C-Class flare. Stronger flares are unlikely at this time.

Geomagnetic activity declined to lower levels and this trend could continue as the solar wind speed continues to decline. Widespread aurora is unlikely tonight and should be confined to regions at very high latitudes. Stay tuned to for the most up to date spaceweather news, data and imagery.

The Visible Disk (Oct 6) - SDO/HMI

October 3, 2016 @ 00:50 UTC
Solar Update
Good evening. Below is an updated look at the visible solar disk as we head into Monday. We had one day where the disk went spotless, however new region 2598 continues to form in the northeast quadrant and will be monitored. Another region is now turning into view off the southeast limb and we will get a better look within the next 24 hours. There is currently a chance for isolated minor C-Flares.

Isolated periods of enhanced geomagnetic activity, including a brief period of minor (G1) storming was observed at higher latitudes. A Kp of 4 (below storm levels) is expected during the next few days while the solar wind remains elevated. A return to quieter levels is expected by October 5th. Stay tuned to for the most up to date spaceweather data and imagery.

The Visible Disk (Oct 3) - SDO/HMI

October 1, 2016 @ 16:30 UTC
Filament Eruption / Solar Update
Good morning and welcome to October.

The solar wind is finally showing a gradual decrease in speed and geomagnetic activity should eventually return to quieter levels during the next 24-48 hours. Visible aurora will remain likely at very high latitudes during the next day or so.

A large filament located in the northeast quadrant erupted beginning at 01:00 UTC (Oct 1). A faint coronal mass ejection (CME) was observed leaving the sun in the latest LASCO coronagraph imagery, but so far appears to be directed mostly to the east. A noteworthy impact to our geomagnetic field is unlikely, however more updates will be provided if necessary. Below is a short video courtesy of the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) using the 304 angstroms channel capturing the event.

In other news, the visible disk is now spotless. Solar activity should remain very low in the short term. Stay tuned to for the latest spaceweather data and imagery.