July 10 update: Beautiful eruption!
Today’s top sun news: Sun activity is low, following the M flare on July 8. The sun produced a C8.5 flare yesterday (13:38 UTC on July 9) on its southwest limb, from active region AR3047. The eruption produced a beautiful ejection of material, as seen in the image above, which in turn created a CME. Given the location, this CME was not Earth-directed. It did produce a coronal wave – like a tsunami on the sun – often called an EIT wave. These waves are named for the EIT instrument on the SOHO spacecraft, which first recorded such waves in the late 1990s. An EIT wave indicates a shock wave created by the CME. The July 9 EIT wave created a surge in solar particles that was measured at Earth. The magnetic field of the sun comes away in a spiral that curves back to Earth. These particles follow the magnetic field along this curved path, which is why we see them at Earth.
Last 24 hours: The sun has produced 11 C-flares and 1 B-flare. The largest event was a C8.5 flare on July 9, from the old region AR3047 on the southwest limb.
Next 24 hours: The prediction on July 9 is 85% chance for C flares, 35% for M flares, and 1% for X flares.
Next expected CME: A CME was produced during the M-class flare on July 8. Most analyses show a near miss of Earth, but some show a glancing blow. Either option should happen to us by today or tomorrow (July 11). Either option may still provoke G1 (minor) geomagnetic activity.
Current geomagnetic activity: Quiet.
6 videos 6 del sorpresivo evento de hoy: C8.5 en S22W88 de la AR13047… recordemos que ya era plage .. ???? pic.twitter.com/rK60w1y17P
— Jorge Álvarez (@JAL495588) July 9, 2022
Nice-looking EUV wave from the C5.8 event (in decayed region AR 13047). This was not the most spectacular example, propagating mostly along the limb, which may explain the delayed onset of protons. I plan to revisit the relation of EUV waves with SEPs at https://t.co/UvKWNL2Ptz. pic.twitter.com/WezB8xVG3g
— Halo CME (@halocme) July 9, 2022
July 9 update: M-class flare!
The sun has been quiet. So it was fun yesterday to see sunspot region AR3053 erupt with a gorgeous long-lasting M2.6 flare. The M-flare took place at 20:07 UTC on July 8, 2022. AR3053 is now located on the northeast quarter of the sun’s disk, as viewed from Earth. And, for now, it’s the biggest sunspot region, and so remains the most promising for further activity. The July 8 blast provoked an R1 (minor) radio blackout that hit the West Coast of North America, over the Pacific Ocean, at 20:50 UTC on July 8. Afterwards, sun activity went back to being low, at C-class flare level. There are a couple of large coronal holes located now south of the sun’s equator. They might provide high speed solar wind. The sun on July 9 bears five active sunspot regions, with AR3055 being especially noticeable.
Fun with filaments! Fun with prominences! They are one in the same depending if you see them on the disk (filaments) or edge of the sun (prominences). They are solar material supported by magnetic fields. Sometimes they can erupt creating a coronal mass ejection (CME). ???? pic.twitter.com/9mUvabRV8b
— Dr. C. Alex Young (@TheSunToday) July 8, 2022
July 8 update: Minor geomagnetic storming
A high-speed solar wind from a coronal hole was expected, and arrived yesterday. The result was a minor (G1) geomagnetic storm on July 7. Earth’s magnetic field reached the storming threshold at 0:05 UTC (7 p.m. central) on July 7. There’s still some potential for a moderate storm (G2) later today, possibly bringing a good display of auroras. Send your aurora photos to our EarthSky Community Photos here.
The expected #solarstorm has indeed arrived & packs an early punch! #Aurora builds now. This is a stronger & slightly faster storm than expected. Kp 6/ G2-levels are possible. #GPS and HF #radio users stay vigilant on Earth’s nightside. Drone pilots calibrate magnetometers often! https://t.co/YGukxYoiwD
— Dr. Tamitha Skov (@TamithaSkov) July 7, 2022
July 7 update: Calm before the minor storm?
The possible arrival of high-speed solar wind from a coronal hole has not happened yet. When it does happen, it might bring a G1 (minor) geomagnetic storm. Stay tuned. Overall, sun activity remains low, although you wouldn’t think so by looking at today’s sun in extreme ultraviolet with SDO (see image below). There are bright active regions (sunspot groups) and several dark filaments, especially on the southeast part of the sun.
CME WATCH – 2022.07.06: The corona seems very dynamic tonight. The CME off the west5 (right) limb seems to have a twisted structure – interesting. Then there are major outflows from the west, south and east. pic.twitter.com/A3W2h5c2kq
— Keith Strong (@drkstrong) July 7, 2022
July 6 update: Auroras expected again today
At this writing (11 UTC on July 6, 2022), we await the high-speed solar wind from a coronal hole expected to arrive today. As it strikes us, Earth might experience a G1 (minor) geomagnetic storm. That probably means auroral displays at northern latitudes. Stay tuned.
BREAKING SWx NEWS: Flares are back. Watch twice. First time, focus on the SW (lower right) & then the NE (upper left). Note how the number of flares (bright flashes) have increased in several regions over this 2-day period. The brightest one was a C9.9, close to being an M flare! pic.twitter.com/9rhVFUTktq
— Keith Strong (@drkstrong) July 5, 2022
July 5 update: Aurora alert!
Possible auroras tomorrow! High-speed solar wind from a large coronal hole on the sun’s disk should reach Earth today into tomorrow (July 5 to 6, 2022). There’s a strong chance for this solar wind to produce a G1 (minor) geomagnetic storm, bringing more auroras to high latitudes.
BREAKING SWx NEWS: Huge sunspot rotating over northeast limb. It seems to be significantly larger than the Earth (see inset). Too early to see its structure and if it has any companion spots. pic.twitter.com/ANykAbyOtN
— Keith Strong (@drkstrong) July 5, 2022
July 4 update: Aphelion and more auroras
A happy aphelion today, our farthest point from the sun! Earth’s magnetic field is unsettled after briefly jumping into another minor G1 geomagnetic storm providing more auroral displays. See some pics in the tweets below. We might see more geomagnetic activity when fast solar wind from a coronal hole reaches Earth on July 6. Sun activity remains low but its biggest sunspot region, AR3046, is now well onto the Earth-facing side of the sun. Though the largest active region on the sun, it does not have much potential for flaring at the moment.
— Donna (@LachDonna) July 4, 2022
— alexander falconer (@alexfalconrt) July 4, 2022
— William Kranski (@Pack4now) July 4, 2022
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.
Recent sun and auroras pics, from the EarthSky community
Bottom line: The sun’s overall activity this week picked up despite the calm we have seen in previous weeks. Sunspot region AR3053 erupted with a gorgeous long-lasting M2.6 flare. Then we saw sunspot region AR3056 produce two M flares and numerous C flares.