July 3 update: Calm again after auroral display
Today’s top sun news:Earth’s magnetic field is calm again after yesterday’s minor geomagnetic storm left us with gorgeous auroral displays. See some pics in the tweets below. In the meantime, on the sun itself, that big newcomer sunspot – now labeled 3046 – has been carried by the sun’s rotation farther into view. And SpaceWeather.com is reporting that, toward the end of June, NASA’s AIM spacecraft detected a sharp increase in the frequency of noctilucent clouds, aka night-shining clouds. It’s the most we’ve seen in 15 years, SpaceWeather said.
Last 24 hours: Sun activity is low. We’ve seen 10 B-class flares in the past day.
Next 24 hours: Today, there’s a 25% chance for C-flares, 1% chance for M-flares, and 1% for X-flares.
Next expected CME: No Earth-directed CMEs are reported.
Current geomagnetic activity: Quiet.
— Mike MacLellan (@PeakToSailPhoto) July 2, 2022
Big sable lighthouse under the Aurora! ??. This may be my favorite Aurora image to date! What a night! @PureMichigan @TamithaSkov @spacewxwatch #northernlights #AuroraBorealis #spacewx #spaceweather pic.twitter.com/e32IagKxLT
— MaryBeth Kiczenski (@MKiczenski) July 2, 2022
So I took these Northern Lights pictures last night. It was amazing! But I had to reset my computer because of technical issues. I fixed the issue so more pictures are coming. I have to go to work but after work, I'll upload the rest. #AuroraBorealis #NorthernLights #StormHour pic.twitter.com/Qz64q0CG9f
— Isaac ?? (@ID_photo_graphy) July 2, 2022
July 2 update: Auroras dip into northern U.S.
Yesterday’s expected CME did not directly hit Earth’s magnetic field. But the close-passing CME provoked a minor (G1 level) geomagnetic storm. The threshold was reached at 6 UTC (2 a.m. EDT) on July 2, 2022. Auroras have been reported as far south as Wisconsin and North Dakota in the U.S. At the time of this writing (10 UTC, or 6 a.m. EDT), the disturbance is expected to last for about 8 more hours.
Aurora going bonkers in Grand Forks North Dakota now, wow! Check it out on the live stream below.https://t.co/FsJsTvqSjthttps://t.co/9Fl6Eekha4@TamithaSkov @spaceyliz @AuroraJAnderson @ItsAstroKota
7-2-22 12:47am CT pic.twitter.com/dYjjnZnW85
— Vincent Ledvina (@Vincent_Ledvina) July 2, 2022
July 1 update: Big new sunspot has come into view
Today we start the second half of 2022. And sun activity through the first half of 2022 has offered up some glorious events. For example, we had AR3014, the biggest sunspot region of Solar Cycle 25, so far. In recent days, the sun has been quiet … and it’s still quiet. But, as of today, we have a newcomer sunspot region, still unlabeled, on the sun’s northeast limb (edge). It arrived – with a beautiful prominence and promises of more sun activity – at 11:08 UTC on June 30, 2022.
BREAKING NEWS: Large sunspot rising over east limb of the Sun. It does not seem to correspond to an old region so must have grown up on the far side. It has already produced a C1 flare. pic.twitter.com/shS5E775mF
— Keith Strong (@drkstrong) June 30, 2022
June 30 update: Sunspot regions emerge
Sun activity is still low. Sunspot regions AR3042, AR3043 and AR3044 have emerged on the solar disk visible from the Earth. And we’ve seen them growing to become magnetic active regions and finally show an umbra and penumbra. Meanwhile, sunspot region AR3041 departed due to the sun’s rotation, among beautiful prominences on the sun’s northwest limb (edge).
CME WATCH – 2022.06.29: Two beautiful Coronal Mass Ejections – the first was off the southwest limb of the Sun (bottom right) followed by a similarly spectacular one off the west limb. We will have to wait and see if either or both of them are heading our way. Stay tuned! pic.twitter.com/XrKs1Swmrq
— Keith Strong (@drkstrong) June 30, 2022
June 29 update: SDO sees a partial eclipse from space
NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) – a key tool for studying the sun – was down last week due to earthly power outage (read more with the June 28 update, below). But it’s back just in time to witness a partial solar eclipse, seen from space – but not from Earth – on June 29, 2022. In other words, as seen from SDO’s orbit, the space observatory occasionally sees the moon pass in front of the sun. Lovely! This time, at the peak of the eclipse, the moon covered 67% of the sun.
well here we have an eruption apparently from AR3041northwest side of the sun. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/A8DDO9XnOI
— Industrial Engineer Irene Quiroz (@nenecallas) June 28, 2022
June 28 sun activity update: SDO is back!
Sun activity is still low. But solar physicists all around the globe are happy because the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) is back! SDO data had been unavailable since June 21, 2022, due to power outages at the main data center at Stanford University. And SDO was missed. This spacecraft – launched in 2010 – continuously records high-definition views of the sun’s atmosphere in extremely high detail. For many examples of images of today’s sun, visit SDO’s realtime page. Note: At this writing, the message about SDO being down is still on this page. But the images are current! By the way, while SDO was down, solar physicists had to consult other sources of information. One of these tools, for instance, is the Synoptic map, which is also very cool. See an example below.
Last 24 hours: Sun activity has stayed very low with only one C1.5 flare at 18:30 UTC on June 27. The rest, more than 18 flares, are all in the B-class range.
June 27 sun activity update: Mystery CME
The sun produced a beautiful CME off the southwest on June 26, 2022. Currently, whether or not it came from the front side or back side of the sun is a bit of a mystery. Because of the lack of SDO data, space weather analysts are not completely sure of its origin. More than likely, it’s a far-side event. But further analysis is still underway. Otherwise, low overall sun activity continues. Two C-class flares came from AR3040. This is the only active region currently on the solar disk. It is near the sun’s disk center so any CMEs it might produce would most likely be Earth-directed. But its activity level is very low. And are still without SDO data, at the time of this writing.
June 26 sun activity update: Minor geomagnetic storm
Low sun activity continues. Earth experienced a brief G1 geomagnetic storm (minor) caused by the impact of high speed solar wind from a coronal hole. The threshold for G1 was reached at 02:02 UTC on June 26. The storm lasted only a few hours.
You were right!. G1 storm, although it decayed quickly because of the magnetic field turning northward.
— Halo CME (@halocme) June 26, 2022
¡¡Dios mío, la prominencia ha desaparecido!!… ???????
— Jorge Álvarez (@JAL495588) June 26, 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.
Bottom line: The sun stays fairly calm this week with some new sunspots emerging and moving farther into view by the end of the week. At the end of the week, a minor geomagnetic storm on July 2 and July 3 allowed for a gorgeous auroral display!