SpaceSun

Sun activity: Week of July 18, 2022

Looking for the current page on sun activity? Click here.

Aurora borealis: Green and purple curtains of light with vertical filaments.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Joel Weatherly in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, captured this photo on July 23, 2022, and wrote “We had an excellent aurora borealis display tonight, thanks to the impact of a coronal mass ejection. In this photograph, the auroras were ramping up in activity and presenting brilliant shades of green, pink, and purple.” Thank you, Joel!

July 24 update: Bam! Beautiful filament eruption

Today’s top sun news: A beautifully structured filament erupted at 18:43 UTC yesterday (July 23, 2022) from the southwest limb (edge) of the sun. It produced a bright coronal mass ejection (CME), observed in the SOHO/LASCO coronagraphs. We await further analysis to know if the CME is Earth-directed.
Last 24 hours: Sun activity remains low, with 16 C class flares. The highest, a C3.6, occurred at 22:41 UTC on July 23. The sun has six labeled active regions.
Next 24 hours: The flare forecast is 55% chance for C flares, 5% for M flares, and 1% for X flares.
Next expected CME: There might be an Earth-directed CME from the July 23 filament eruption. We’ll know more when the analysis is complete.
Current geomagnetic activity: Quiet.

Red animated image with cloud like structures (CMEs) moving out from the center red disk blocking the sun
A beautiful filament eruption from the sun on July 23, 2022. It moved away as a coronal mass ejection (CME). Sun activity image via SOHO/LASCO.

July 23 update: CME is here

As predicted, beautiful auroral displays have been seen as far south as Ohio and Minnesota since late last night (July 22, 2022) and into this morning. They are the result of a CME impact, which sparked a G1 (minor) geomagnetic storm, whose threshold was reached at 3:59 UTC on July 23. As of this writing (11:30 UTC on July 23, or 6:30 a.m. CDT), a G2 (moderate) geomagnetic storm is possible in the hours ahead.

Sun activity: Pink aurora.
Sun activity remains low. But Doug C (@diggitydoug_42 on Twitter) captured this image from Nobles County, Minnesota, overnight on July 22, 2022. Thank you, Doug!
July 22, 2022 Aurora display at Cleveland, Ohio in front go Lake Erie.
Chris817 in Cleveland, Ohio, captured this faint aurora overnight on July 22, 2022, with Lake Erie in the background. Thank you, Chris.

July 22 update: An awesome week for auroras

More auroras were reported overnight last night, and conditions for auroras remain good. NOAA’s 3-day forecast predicts a G1 (minor) geomagnetic storm for today (July 22, 2022). And we might get an even stronger G2 (moderate) geomagnetic storm overnight tonight (the prediction is for around 4 UTC on July 23). That might happen with the arrival of a CME produced on July 21. If so, auroras might be seen as far south as the northern U.S. states, provoked by a combination  of high-speed solar wind from coronal holes and the CME impact. Aurora alert for tonight!

Green aurora against a purple sky.
Deb Maluk (@dmaluk1 on Twitter in Manitoba, Canada, captured this aurora overnight on July 21-22, 2022, resulting from recent sun activity. Beautiful capture, Deb. Thank you!
July 22, 2022 Aurora forecast map showing North America.
July 22, 2022, aurora forecast shows a good opportunity to witness auroral displays as far south as the northern states of the U.S. Image via UAF.

July 21 update: More auroras

Aurora-watchers are happy! We’ve had auroras for the past several days, and conditions remain good for auroras over the next three days. Conditions are ripe for a G1 (minor) geomagnetic storm over the next three days according to NOAA’s 3-day forecast. It’s due to the combined influence of high-speed solar wind from coronal holes and a possible CME impact. Given the combination of influences, there is a slight chance for the G1 storm to reach G2 levels. This geomagnetic activity might provoke auroral displays starting tonight. The stronger the storm the farther south the auroras might be observed.

July 20 update: Aurora alert continues

Observers in the northern U.S. and Canada are still reporting auroras (overnight on July 19 and early on July 20, 2022). They are the result of the July 15 filament eruption and CME. There’s a chance that a slow CME left the sun on July 15, too. If so, it might reach us by July 21 and 22. And there’s a high-speed solar wind coming our way from a coronal hole. All in all, conditions for auroras appear good!

Green and purple aurora, pillars of colored light, over water.
Harlan Thomas (@theauroraguy on Twitter) in Alberta, Canada, posted this photo earlier today (July 20, 2022) and wrote: “Auroral beads and purple rays during last night’s impact.” Thank you, Harlan!

July 19 update: Aurora alert

Aurora alert! Observers in the northern U.S. and Canada are reporting auroras this morning. The geomagnetic storm threshold was reached July 19, 2022, at 9:01 UTC. The possibility for auroral displays at northerly latitudes might extend into this evening for North American times zones.

Looking for last week’s sun activity? Click here

July 18 update: Calm before the aurora

Sun activity is low with only C flares. We await the arrival of the July 15 CME from a filament eruption. NASA estimates it will impact Earth on July 19 toward the beginning of the day (in UTC). It could produce auroras well into the northern U.S. (mid-latitudes). There are some large coronal holes in the east of the sun’s disk that could provide some fast solar wind at Earth later in the week.

To our readers and community

We invite you all to send us your beautiful recent photos of sunspots and auroras. We love receiving your photos! To those of you who’ve already posted a photo to our community, thank you.

Submit your image here

Recent sun pics, from EarthSky’s community

The sun, seen as a large orange sphere with a mottled surface.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Mario Rana in Hampton, Virginia, captured this filtered image on July 24, 2022, and wrote: “Hydrogen-alpha image of the sun. There are at least six active regions along with some nice prominences and filaments.” Thank you, Mario!
Aurora borealis: Green and purple curtains of light with vertical filaments.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Roselyn Mose in Red Deer County, Alberta, Canada, captured this photo of the aurora on July 23, 2022, and wrote “Summer northern lights with the Big Dipper.” Thank you, Roselyn!
Aurora borealis: Green and purple curtains of light with vertical filaments.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Joel Weatherly in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, captured this photo on July 23, 2022, and wrote “We had an excellent aurora borealis display tonight, thanks to the impact of a coronal mass ejection. In this photograph, the auroras were ramping up in activity and presenting brilliant shades of green, pink, and purple.” Thank you, Joel!
Two yellowish spheres side-by-side, representing the sun.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Randall Kayfes in Tucson, Arizona, captured this hydrogen-alpha filtered view of the sun on July 18, 2022, and wrote “Hydrogen-alpha filtered on the left and visible white light filtered on the right – same sun looking through different filters. Check out the beautiful prominence in the hydrogen-alpha photo.” Thank you, Randall!
The sun, seen as a yellowish sphere with labeled dark spots.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Joel Weatherly in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, captured this white-light filtered view of the sun on July 17, 2022, and wrote “The sun is sporting some lovely sunspots today. Hopefully, our recent solar activity will translate into increased solar activity as a coronal mass ejection is forecasted to reach Earth later this week.” Thank you, Joel!
Large, fiery setting sun with buildings in the forground.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Raúl Cortés of Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico, captured this setting sun on July 17, 2022, over San Pedro Garza García. Thank you, Raúl!
The sun, seen as a yellow sphere with dark spots.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Steve Wilson in Salina, Kansas, captured this white-light filtered view of the sun on July 17, 2022, and wrote “With all the solar activity today, I got my camera out to start taking pictures of the sun. ISO 800 for 1/1600 second. Can see a lot of sunspot clusters and individual sunspots as well. Very impressed by this.” Thank you, Steve!

Bottom line: The sun had an eventful week which lead to a beautiful display of auroras. This was all due to Earth-targeted coronal mass ejections (CME) that lead to minor geomagnetic storms. Between July 19 and July 23, observers in the northern U.S. and Canada were reporting auroras. And to end the week, the sun gave off a beautiful filament eruption at 18:43 UTC on July 23!

Why are east and west on the sun reversed?

Posted 
July 18, 2022
 in 
Space

Like what you read?
Subscribe and receive daily news delivered to your inbox.

Your email address will only be used for EarthSky content. Privacy Policy
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

More from 

C. Alex Young

View All