SpaceSun

Sun activity: Week of September 5, 2022

September 8, 2022 Sun activity shows an eruption on the Southwest limb (edge).
September 8, 2022 The sun activity showed a nice filament erupting on the Southwest limb (edge) coming from the far side of the sun. LASCO C2 coronagraph. Image via NOAA.

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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.

less than a red quarter globe from e upper right. Swirling cloud structures moving away toward the right. A small Earth globe symbol just above the swirling structure.
Sun activity September 11, 2022: A solar prominence on the northwest limb just below the north polar coronal hole lifted off. The CME was not Earth-directed. Earth is shown for scale. Image via SDO and Helioviewer.

Purple Pink globe with two areas outlined in yellow, one on the upper left and one one the lower right. Both have yellow arrows pointing to them.
Two coronal holes, one in the northeast and one in the southwest. They are visible in the SDO 211 angstrom extreme ultraviolet wavelength. They are outlined in yellow with a label. Image via SDO.

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).

September 10, 2022 The sun in AIA 171 angstrom looks gold with faint flares.
September 10, 2022: During the last 24 hours, sun activity was low, with only faint flaring across the sun’s surface. The majority of the flares produced were in the B-class level. Image via SDO.

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.

Animated sun disk in different colors with many lighter splotches on it.
September 9, 2022, sun activity shown at various ultraviolet wavelengths. Image via SDO.
September 8, 2022 Sun activity shows an eruption on the southwest limb (edge).
September 8, 2022: A nice filament erupting on the sun’s southwest limb (edge), coming from the far side of the sun. LASCO C2 coronagraph. Image via NOAA.

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 shows a beautiful prominence (like a red flare) on the southeast limb (edge).
Sun activity in the past day included this beautiful prominence on the sun’s southeast limb (edge). Image via GOES – 16 SUVI NASA NOAA.
Yellow image with darker areas, like in a mountain. There are some cracks too.
One of the 1st images of the sun’s chromosphere – part of the sun’s outer atmosphere – taken with the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope. This image is from June 3, 2022. It shows a region 82,500 kilometers (about 51,000 miles) across. Image via NSO/ AURA/ NSF.
Yellow image with darker areas, like in a mountain. There are some cracks too. A tiny image of the Earth is on the bottom left.
Here’s a deep closeup of the sun chromosphere – “sphere of color” – as seen by the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope in Hawaii. The image shows a region 82,500 kilometers (about 51,000 miles) across. Earth size included for comparison. Image via NSO/ AURA/ NSF.

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: Red sphere with a big flare coming out of the bottom right side of the image.
September 6, 2022, sun activity showing sunspot region AR3089 departing with flares and prominences. Image via SDO/ Helioviewer.

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.”

September 6, 2022 Parker Solar Probe approaches the sun.
Sun activity in recent days has happened mostly on the sun’s far side, the side not visible from Earth. But NASA’s Parker Solar Probe has been heading straight for it! Image via JHUAPL.
September 5, 2022 LASCO imagery showing solar blast.
September 5, 2022 LASCO C2 and C3 showing a blast from the far side. Image via NOAA.

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.

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 photos here

View community photos here

The sun, seen as a large grayish sphere with little dark spots.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Radu Anghel in Romania captured this filtered image on September 10, 2022, and wrote: “The sun today, with six small active regions. But talking about sunspots… did you know that the earliest written record of sunspot observations goes back to 800 BC, being mentioned in the Chinese astronomical chronicles I-Ching (Book of Changes)?” Thank you, Radu!
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 September 9, 2022, and wrote: “Hydrogen-alpha image of the Sun featuring active regions AR3092, AR3094, AR3096, and AR3098, along with some nice filaments.” Thank you, Mario!

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.

Looking for earlier sun activity posts? Click here

Posted 
September 5, 2022
 in 
Space

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