Sun activity September 11: Filaments and coronal holes today
Today’s top news: Sun activity remains low today. Any current activity will more than likely come from filament (prominence) eruptions or high-speed solar wind from a coronal hole. Despite being covered in sunspots the sun has only produced 10 C-class flares, all less than a C3 in size. None of the current sunspots have the magnetic complexity necessary to produce more than minor C-flares. We await the revisit from our old friend AR3088, which gave us a lot of exciting activity on its previous visit. The region can be seen using helioseismology with the SDO/HMI instrument (see tweet below). This region should become visible in the next day or two. Another region, possibly the old AR3089, is more than about 10 days away. We await their arrival and any possible action they may bring.
Last 24 hours: Sun activity is low. The largest flare was a C2.8 flare at 00:08 UTC on September 11. The sun has seven labeled sunspot regions.
Next 24 hours: The forecast is for a 70% chance for C flares, 10% chance for M flares and 1% chance for X flares.
Next expected CME: No Earth-directed CMEs observed at this time.
Current geomagnetic activity: The geomagnetic field is quiet. There is a chance for unsettled conditions today (September 11). Quiet conditions are expected on September 12. Conditions may become unsettled on September 13 due to the influence of high-speed solar wind from a coronal hole.
DOUBLE STUFF on the far side. Two large-looking regions are on the other side of the Sun. One, our old active friend AR3088, should be here in a day. It is already peaking around the corner. What awaits? More action? Inquiring minds … ???? pic.twitter.com/PghTxHxsqH
— Dr. C. Alex Young (@TheSunToday) September 11, 2022
Sun activity September 10: More faint flares
Sun activity is at a very low level today. In the past 24 hours, we saw more than 20 B-class flares, and only three above the C-class threshold. Meanwhile, here on Earth, there’s a slight opportunity for auroras to display due to persistent high-speed solar wind. Auroras might be visible at high latitudes (above 65 degrees).
CME WATCH – 2022.09.09: First we see the large eruption off the SW limb, which we saw the start of in yesterday’s CME Watch video. Soon thereafter there is an eruption off the east limb, followed by a third above the Sun’s northern pole. pic.twitter.com/Ukd3NCE7dV
— Keith Strong (@drkstrong) September 10, 2022
Sun activity September 9: Low-level flares only
Sun activity is low today. And today we share an animation (above), showing sun activity at different ultraviolet wavelengths. In some sense, the sun is “active” every day. The sun is a star, after all! But the sun is relatively quiet today. A nice filament-prominence on the southwest limb (edge) did erupt on September 8, 2022, starting at approximately 8 UTC and peaking at about 18 UTC (see LASCO C2 animation below). This activity came from the far side of the sun, presumably from the sunspot region that keeps on giving, AR3088. A new sunspot region emerged, located on the northeast solar quadrant just north of the equator between AR3096 and AR3094. It has been assigned the label AR3098. Meanwhile, on Earth, NOAA released an alert for an expected G1 (minor) geomagnetic storm during the early morning hours of September 9, 2022. Auroras might be visible at high latitudes.
Sun activity September 8: A prominence like a caress
Yesterday, we said goodbye to a few prominences on the sun southwest limb (edge), as the sun’s rotation carried sunspot region AR3089 out of view. Now there is a newcomer at the very edge of the sun’s opposite limb – the southeast – not labeled yet and not quite at full sight, but already granting us a beautiful prominence that looks like a gentle caress. It occurred at 21:58 UTC on September 7, 2022. And, despite its gentle look, this is an ejection of solar plasma – a stream of electrified gas the size of several Earths – and so hot that some of the atoms in the gas have been stripped of their electrons. Meanwhile, close to the sun’s central meridian, in its southern hemisphere, a new sunspot region has emerged. It was given the label AR3097. Finally, we are celebrating the official inauguration of the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope, now the world’s largest solar telescope, with a four-meter (13-foot) diameter. On August 31, 2022, a delegation of science leaders, congressional dignitaries and Native Hawaiian communities gathered near the summit of Haleakala, Maui, to commemorate its inauguration. Read more about the event. We share a couple of outstanding photos from the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope below.
Sun activity September 7: AR3089 departs a bang
Today’s top news: Sunspot region AR3089 is departing – being carried out of view by the sun’s rotation – with beautiful displays from flares and prominences on the sun’s southwest limb (edge). This region was the largest and most magnetically complex sunspot since AR3088 left in a similar flurry of departing activity. There’s also a newcomer now, on the sun’s northeast limb (edge), just labeled AR3096. It holds promise for the next sun action. Overall, after this past week’s spurt of geomagnetic storming (see aurora photos below), from the large trans-equatorial coronal hole, sun activity is now at low levels. Will the newcomer bring more action? We’ll see. Stay tuned.
Last 24 hours: Sun activity is low. There were seven C-class flares. The largest was a C3.29 flare at 18:30 UTC on September 6, 2022, from the west limb (edge). Today the sun has four labeled active sunspot regions.
Next 24 hours: The forecast is for a 50% chance for C flares, 5% chance for M flares and 1% chance for X flares.
Sun activity September 6: Parker Solar Probe’s exciting sun encounter
A few days ago, a CME blasted ESA’s Solar Orbiter spacecraft as it was making a close flyby of Venus. Like Solar Orbiter, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe has been approaching an active side of the sun (the far side, not visible from Earth). Parker Solar Probe’s 13th perihelion – closest point to the sun – happens today (September 6, 2022). So Parker Solar Probe is much closer to the sun now than Solar Orbiter. And it’ll be flying through an active corona during the September 6 perihelion, just 5.3 million miles (8.3 million km) from the sun’s visible surface. Another eruption happened on the sun’s far side at approximately 17:54 UTC on September 5, by the way. And SOHO LASCO C2 and C3 imagery showed this big blast from the far side of the sun; see the animation below. “Nobody has ever flown through a solar event so close to the sun before,” said Nour Raouafi, Parker Solar Probe project scientist at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, on the Parker Solar Probe blog. “The data [were] totally new.”
It’s relatively quiet on the Earth-facing side of the Sun compared to the recent action with AR3088. A large eruption recently occurred on the far side. A likely candidate, ole’ AR3088. Helioseismology shows a big region. Probably our old friend. ???? pic.twitter.com/fjp97I4Sp2
— Dr. C. Alex Young (@TheSunToday) September 6, 2022
— Austin Longenecker (@austinlongen1) September 6, 2022
Here’s an all-sky view of the gorgeous summer aurora we’ve had over Norway in the past days! Truly some magnificent shows showing the waves of streamers being pushed southwards under negative Bz, then exploding back northwards during substorm expansion. pic.twitter.com/fkQJZGPMvw
— Night Lights | nightlights.eth (@NightLights_AM) September 6, 2022
Really beautiful pillars approx 1:04am Sept 6.22. 2.5hrs north of #Winnipeg #manitoba Really nice night. Warm south Wind is keeping the mosquitoes away. @AuroraNotify @TweetAurora @dartanner @TamithaSkov @eljakeo30 @Vincent_Ledvina @ChasinSpin @chunder10 pic.twitter.com/hmFezkcyLf
— KimHines/SuperNatu?e (@KimHinesSN) September 6, 2022
And the only decent image that 7hrs of driving got me? still a really cool spectacle right above where the clouds ended and clear sky began. 12:03am September 5th,2022 in McVicar, Ontario Canada. @spacewxwatch @AuroraAlertsApp @Windycom #AuroraBorealis pic.twitter.com/hAgxrN8wtI
— KevinJGilbert (@kevjgilly) September 5, 2022
Sun activity September 5: Geomagnetic storms and auroras continue
Geomagnetic storms have continued over the past 24 hours, fluctuating between minor (G1) and moderate (G2) levels. So auroras have also continued to be reported down to mid-latitudes such as the northern U.S. And we might continue to see minor-to-moderate storming throughout September 5. A persistent stream of fast solar wind from a coronal hole is the culprit combined with the Russell-McPherron effect, which happens around equinoxes. Submit your image to EarthSky Community Photos.
— High Hopes Aurora w/ Justin Anderson (@AuroraJAnderson) September 5, 2022
— Randy Small – Whatcom County Weather (@RandySmall) September 4, 2022
Getting a Timelapse/montage put together from last nights great northern light show! Potentially another round tonight but clouds and smoke could be a factor in my area. – Josh near Balfour, North Dakota 9/3-9/4/2022 #AuroraBorealis #Aurora #ndwx #northernlights @TamithaSkov pic.twitter.com/EMQMpD0GoN
— Josh Frye (Central Dakotas Severe WX Chasing) (@CentralDakSWXC) September 5, 2022
— Diane Hammerling (@bbphoto_ca) September 4, 2022
at an Anniversary (50 years!) party tonight in a little country hall. What a treat to step out of the hall and see #aurora..chatted with some folks who have never seen it…took a bad pic of them waving at it?makes me really happy to be with people seeing it for the first time? pic.twitter.com/i53OrNSr2L
— Deb Maluk ????? (@dmaluk1) September 5, 2022
Aurora last night north of Saskatoon pic.twitter.com/Kwhgn2dBKe
— Jeff Wizniak (@WizniakJeff) September 4, 2022
— Elan Azriel (@elanazriel) September 5, 2022
— John-GM7PBB (@GM7PBB) September 4, 2022
So what is causing all the excitement. Here is the solar wind culprit! ??This is the coronal hole giving us all the great aurora. Thanks!?? pic.twitter.com/ASrm62tQmB
— Dr. C. Alex Young (@TheSunToday) September 5, 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: Sun activity for the week of September 5, 2022: Activity this week started with geomagnetic storms and auroras. A pleasant start to the week for aurora chasers! On September 6, Parker Solar Probe’s 13th perihelion occurred – its closest point to the sun. On September 7, we had to say goodbye to sunspot region AR3089 as it departed out of view due to the sun’s rotation. This region was the largest and most magnetically complex sunspot since AR3088. The remainder of the week left us with low-level flares. Despite being covered in sunspots, this week the sun only produced 10 C-class flares, all less than a C3 in size.