June 5 update: CME glancing blow today?
Today’s top sun news: A CME glancing blow from the June 1 filament eruption is expected today, June 5, 2022. (See the tweet below.) The time of arrival is 18 UTC (2 p.m. EDT), plus or minus about 7 hours. In other words, the CME could reach us earlier or later. And it might miss us altogether. But it might brush us, giving us active geomagnetic conditions through the rest of June 5 and into June 6. A geomagnetic storm is not predicted, but CMEs can always surprise us. What does it mean for aurora-watchers? We might have enhanced auroral activity at higher latitudes, with the possibility of auroras popping up at slightly lower latitudes. Clear skies and fingers crossed!
Last 24 hours: Very low sun activity continues. There have been only B-class flares (“too small to harm Earth” on the Stanford scale). None of the six sunspot regions are very active. AR3028 and AR2039 are newly formed regions and three others are about to rotate out of view.
Next 24 hours: The forecast today is for a 50% chance for C flares, 5% for M flares, and 1% for X flares.
Next expected CME: Besides today’s possible glancing blow there are no other Earth-directed CMEs.
Current geomagnetic activity: Quiet.
The #NASA prediction model shows the partly Earth-directed #solarstorm will graze Earth at 18 UTC June 5. #Aurora might reach down to mid-latitudes sporadically. #GPS users be vigilant near #aurora & near dawn & dusk through Monday. Amateur radio operators expect minor issues! pic.twitter.com/sZX4mrhz4F
— Dr. Tamitha Skov (@TamithaSkov) June 4, 2022
June 4 update: The sun is quiet
The sun is still quiet. There have been only B-class flares (“too small to harm Earth” on the Stanford scale). We’ve seen five flares, the largest B8.14 from sunspot region AR3024. Sunspot region AR3026 is close to disappearing on the northwest limb (edge) of the sun, being carried out by the sun rotation.
June 3 update: Double filaments with double CMEs
Two beautiful filament eruptions produced CMEs yesterday. One eruption was from the southeast limb and a nearly simultaneous eruption came from the southwest disk. Neither of the CMEs are Earth-directed. The southeast eruption also produced a C1.2 flare. Otherwise, sun activity is very low.
Double fun with filaments! Eruptions on both sides of the sun. And there were double CMEs too. Probably not anything for us here at Earth. But very beautiful! ??? pic.twitter.com/taMyzpWmud
— Dr. C. Alex Young (@TheSunToday) June 3, 2022
Two CMEs from yesterday’s double filament eruption. One to the right and one to the left. ??? pic.twitter.com/QR5py6ygLn
— Dr. C. Alex Young (@TheSunToday) June 3, 2022
June 2 sun activity update: AR3027 a mixed-up sunspot
Sunspot region AR3027 is mixed up, when it comes to its magnetism. Hale’s law tells us that for Solar Cycle 25, the magnetic field of sunspots in the sun’s southern hemisphere should lead with negative and end with positive (negative on the right, and positive on the left). Sunspots in the northern hemisphere are the opposite of that, positive on the right and negative on the left. All the current sunspots follow this law … except one. The newly formed sunspot region, AR3027, is backward. This has been known to happen, but it is very uncommon. What does it mean? Mixed-up sunspots can often mean that they have much greater potential to explode producing solar flares and CMEs. We’ll wait and see if anything exciting happens.
June 1 update: Parker Solar Probe’s halfway point
Parker Solar Probe – first spacecraft to touch the sun, launched in 2018 – today marks the halfway point in its seven-year mission. Today, Parker Solar Probe makes its 12th close approach to the sun (5.7 million miles or 9.2 million km). In all, the mission will make 24 close approaches. Its next close approach is September 6, 2022. Its absolute closest approach will come in December 2024, when it’ll sweep within 4 million miles (6.2 million km) of the solar surface at speeds topping 430,000 miles per hour (692,000 km/h), closer than any other spacecraft has ever come to our local star. Follow Parker Solar Probe.
Small eruption from very close to the Earth-facing disc centre, featuring a tiny filament ?? Unclear at the moment whether it will have any impact at Earth (waiting for SOHO/LASCO), SDO/AIA and STEREO/COR2-A imagery suggests significant deflection northwards. pic.twitter.com/RY0YHDoVAd
— Dr. Erika Palmerio (@erikapal) June 1, 2022
May 31 update: Sunspots developing on sun’s far side
Sun activity has stayed at very low levels in recent days. But we might begin to see an increase in a few days. That’s because three sunspot regions are developing on the far side of the sun. This sun activity is seen through the use of helioseismology, a technique that uses propagating sound waves inside the sun. Just as geologists study seismic waves from earthquakes, so solar physicists study these sound waves to understand what we cannot see. Flaring continues mostly at the B-class level. Activity has been scattered across the disk, coming from AR3023, AR3024, and AR3025. The largest event, C1.5, came from over the limb (behind the edge of the visible disk), from the now-departed AR3019.
May 30 update: A very quiet sun
The sun has reached an almost eerie calm after so many weeks of exciting sun activity. We are patiently waiting for the action to pick up. We know it will.
Solar flaring is at very low levels. There are still only three numbered sunspot groups visible. AR3021 is gone and has been replaced with a newly emerging region near the northwest limb, AR3025. AR3023 and AR3024 remain stable and very quiet. We’ve seen almost exclusively B-class flares with a C1.4 flare from AR3023 and a C1.5 flare from the northwest limb near where AR3019 used to be. No CME expected at this time. Geomagnetic activity is quiet.
A week of sun activity: May 19 to 26
A WEEK OF SUN! A four-panel look at SDO 1700, 304, 171, and 193-angstrom wavelengths from May 19 through May 26. Filament eruptions, coronal holes, a few flares of note, and more. ???? pic.twitter.com/HRiEUfcLmC
— Dr. C. Alex Young (@TheSunToday) May 27, 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 photos from EarthSky’s community
Bottom line: June 4, 2022: Sun activity continues at low levels. Solar Cycle 25 looks similar to Solar Cycle 24. But this solar cycle is only beginning; activity will pick up over the next months and years.