Sun activity archive for October 2022

Sun activity October 30: Auroral displays all around and more coming

Due to the effects of high-speed solar wind from a large coronal hole, beautiful auroral displays are ongoing. And more can be expected for the rest of the day today, October 30, 2022, as the high-speed stream of solar wind persists and starts to fade out. We have experienced G1 (minor) geomagnetic storming, and NOAA forecasters anticipate more G1 conditions later on today. The large, now sinusoidal-shaped, coronal hole provided these conditions on Earth. It is now moving out of its geoffective position, carried out to the west by solar rotation. It has been the cause of conditions for gorgeous auroras. More are expected to come, since a large new coronal hole has appeared on the sun’s disk. It is now located on the southeast quadrant and soon, in the next few days, it will be positioned to provide more auroral fun. For now, enjoy the auroras that are forecast for today. Aurora chasers, share your beautiful photos with us here. Meanwhile, sun activity is very low today with low level C class flaring. It is anticipated to continue as the sunspot active regions now in sight appear to be stable or decaying. We will keep watching. Stay tuned.
Last 24 hours: Sun activity continues very low. Three low level C class flares showed up since yesterday. The first was produced by AR 3135 at 11 UTC and the second at 20 UTC by AR3130, both on October 29, 2022. The third C class flare, a C1.0, was produced by AR3133 at 2 UTC on October 30. For the rest, there were a number of B class flares. Today, the sun exhibits five labeled active regions.

Sun activity October 29: Double aurora alert for northern US

October 29, 2022 Double map showing Aurora alert for two days.
October 29, 2022 sun activity: Double alert on auroras forecast for today, October 29, and tomorrow, October 30, 2022. Image via NOAA.

A G1 (minor) geomagnetic storm is here. As we write this article early on October 29, the disturbance is ongoing. The planetary Kp index reached level 5, G1 (minor) on the NOAA scale. The threshold occurred at 8:05 UTC on October 29, 2022. For most of yesterday, October 28, the index stayed at Kp 4. For today and tomorrow, the Space Weather Prediction Center issued a double alert for G1 levels. That means auroras are possible at northern latitudes, possibly as low as Montana and North Dakota in the U.S. Aurora chasers, now is the time! Heads up for the next couple of days for enjoying beautiful auroras. Send your photos here.  In the meantime on the solar disk a large transequatorial coronal hole keeps sending out a high-speed solar wind, causing auroras on Earth. This large sinusoidal-shaped coronal hole, now moving west because of the sun’s rotation, is still at a geoeffective position. That means it high-speed solar wind will continue for the next few days. Stay tuned. Flaring remains at a very low level.
Last 24 hours: Sun activity very low. Seven low level C class flares, the largest a C1.9 flare produced at 10 UTC on October 29, 2022, by sunspot active region AR3130. The rest, a number of flares on the B class level. There is a newcomer on the northeast limb (edge), designated AR3135. As soon as it received its designation it produced a C1.6 flare. The sun continues to produce gorgeous prominences on its northeast limb (edge) and on the west limb. Today, the sun has six labeled active regions.

Sun activity October 28: Aurora alert for northern US

Effects from high-speed solar wind from the three large coronal holes we’ve been watching might provoke conditions for auroras displays at latitudes like those in the northern U.S. An alert for a G1 (minor) geomagnetic storm condition has been issued by NOAA/ SPWC. The storming might peak tonight (October 28, 2022) at around 18 UTC. It might extend into tomorrow morning. Aurora-chasers, get ready! We expect to keep having conditions for auroral displays for the next 3 to 4 days. Share your photos with us here.
Last 24 hours: Sun activity is low, with mostly faint flaring in the B class range. There were only three C flares, the largest, a C1.3 flare. It was from AR3131 at 11 UTC on October 27, 2022. The sun continues granting us beautiful prominences on its northeast limb (edge) and on the west limb. Today, the sun has four labeled active regions.

Sun activity October 27: Gorgeous prominences display today

Sun activity remains low with respect to flaring, so prominences (in addition to the three coronal holes) take center stage today. The image below shows the nearly simultaneous prominence eruptions caught by the GOES16 SUVI instrument yesterday (October 26). In particular, the long extended prominence at the south is at least half a million miles (800,000 km) long. That’s 60 to 70 times Earth’s diameter! The full extent isn’t certain because the prominence extended out of the instrument’s field of view. Meanwhile, on the sun itself today, the sun still has its coronal hole smile.
Last 24 hours: Sun activity is low with eight C flares, the largest, a C9 flare, was from AR3130 at 6:44 UTC on October 27, 2022. Today, the sun has five labeled active regions.

Sun activity October 26: Happy sun today?

Sun activity remains low. But the three coronal holes we mentioned yesterday have rotated more into view. At the time of this writing, at particular wavelengths, they look like a smiley face! And indeed this “happy sun” could lead to more beautiful auroras in several days, once the high-speed solar wind from these coronal holes reaches us at Earth. And that is worth smiling about! On the other hand, the sun might be more on the angry side – flaring up, as it was – in four to five days. That’s because, with helioseismology, we can see that an active region is on the sun’s far side, the side facing away from Earth. Soon, it’ll rotate into view (see image below). The SDO imagery shows the region is very large. Maybe it’ll bring us some increased sun activity with solar flares, and the associated space weather and subsequent auroras. As always, we will wait and see!
Last 24 hours: Sun activity remains low. There were two C flares in the past day, and the rest B flares. The largest was a C4.9 produced by AR3133 at 19:03 UTC on October 25, 2022. The sun today has three labeled active regions.

Sun activity October 25: More coronal holes

The large coronal hole we’ve been watching is almost over the sun’s southwest limb (edge). The high-speed solar wind it produces is no longer reaching us. But we can now turn our eyes to the sun’s northeast quadrant, where there are three coronal holes. The one closest to the sun’s central meridian (line from due north to due south on the sun) should soon be geoeffective (capable of affecting Earth and causing auroral displays). There’s also a newcomer sunspot region in the sun’s northeast, numbered AR3131. Today, the sun is being covered by the moon in a deep partial eclipse. Eclipse livestream posted here.
Last 24 hours: Sun activity remains low. There were only two C flares in the past day, and the rest B flares. The largest was a C2.53 produced by AR3126 at 13:40 UTC on October 24, 2022. The sun today has three labeled active regions.

Sun activity October 24: Auroras, then quiet

Auroras have been intense for the past couple of nights. But at this writing (11 UTC on October 24, 2022), Earth’s geomagnetic field has quieted again. Some might see a little more auroral activity through today, though, before the high-speed solar wind from the coronal hole fades. The forecast is for up to a G1 geomagnetic storm through today, October 24. Meanwhile, on the sun itself, although flaring is low, observers have seen three filament eruptions. And an analysis is underway to determine if there are any Earth-directed CMEs (it appears unlikely).
Last 24 hours: Sun activity remains low with only four C flares. The largest was a C4.2 from AR3126 at 8:02 UTC on October 24. The sun today has five labeled active regions.

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 October 27, 2022, and wrote: “Hydrogen-alpha image of the Sun featuring active regions AR3130, AR3131, and AR3133.” Thank you, Mario!
A large crescent-shaped sun.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Radu Anghel in Vrancea, Romania, captured this filtered close-up during the partial solar eclipse of October 25, 2022. Thank you, Radu!

Sun activity October 23: Auroras, and more to come

Auroras were observed over the last 24 hours from Scandinavia to Alaska at higher latitudes and as far south as Scotland and Michigan. Earth’s geomagnetic field reached G1 storm (minor) levels three times yesterday from 11:33 to 20:17 UTC. The cause was high-speed solar wind from the coronal hole that we’ve watched traversing the southern solar hemisphere this past week. NOAA forecasts that levels of elevated activity will persist into tonight with the possibility of G2 geomagnetic storms. That means we could see more auroras even farther south! Good luck, watchers! The current sun activity levels remain low to very low with only one C flare so our eyes remain glued to Earth’s skies.
Last 24 hours: Sun activity remains low to very low with only one C flare. The event was a C2.1 from AR3122 at 10:42 UTC on October 23. The sun today has four labeled active regions.

Sun activity October 22: Aurora alert next 2 nights

The large coronal hole we’ve been following is now starting to affect Earth. At this writing (12 UTC on October 22, 2022), geomagnetic conditions are already active G1 (minor), threshold reached at 11:33 UTC, and should continue throughout the day and into tomorrow. NOAA predicts G1 (minor) geomagnetic storm conditions by early October 23 and into that evening. As this storming intensifies, we might get auroral displays at latitudes as far south as low as the northern U.S. states of Minnesota and Montana. Go out and get ’em, aurora chasers! And please share your photos with EarthSky here. The large coronal hole is now moving to the sun’s southwest quadrant. It produces auroras via its high-speed solar winds. Elsewhere on the sun, there is a newcomer, sunspot active region AR3128, which emerged close to the southwest limb (edge) of the sun. And AR3125, which didn’t show on yesterday’s labeled sun image (see below), shows today.
Last 24 hours: Sun activity remains low. Only four C flares in the past day. The largest was a C6.5 from AR3122, making this sunspot the main player of the day. It happened at 5:26 UTC on October 22. The rest of yesterday’s flares were at the B level. The sun today exhibits four labeled active regions.

Sun activity October 21: All eyes on sun’s southeast quadrant

Sun activity is low. With sunspot regions AR3122 and AR3124 now gone out of sight – carried out of view by the sun’s rotation – the only active part of the visible sun currently is in the southeast. There, AR3126 and AR3127 accompany the large coronal hole we’ve been watching this week. This coronal hole is now geoeffective: capable of affecting Earth. Its high-speed solar winds are expected to touch Earth by October 24, hopefully to bring some auroral activity. In the meantime, LASCO C2 imagery today has granted us a look at Venus, now just one day from its superior conjunction (its most direct passage behind the sun as seen from Earth), due to happen tomorrow (October 22). At this superior conjunction, Venus will be about 1 degree from the sun in our sky. Afterwards, it will officially enter the evening sky. We’ll finally be able to spot it again from Earth, shining low in the west after sunset, by 2022’s end. See the image below, and visit EarthSky’s night sky guide.
Last 24 hours: Sun activity continues low, despite 17 C flares in the past day. AR3122 was the main player with 10 of those C flares and one B flare. The biggest flare of the day was a C5.97 at 16:50 UTC on October 20. The sun now has only two labeled sunspot active regions.

Sun activity October 20: New sunspot region rapidly emerges

Newcomer sunspot group AR3126 has been fun to watch over the past few days. This region emerged quickly starting late in the day on October 18, 2022, through yesterday, and into today. It appeared just above the large coronal hole we’ve discussed over the last two days. See the cool image below! The newcomer’s size and magnetic complexity grew quickly from nothing to about a third of the size of Earth with moderate complexity in just over a day.
Last 24 hours: Sun activity remains low. There were six C flares, along with some B-class flares. The largest flare was a C5.36 by AR3122 at 03:20 UTC on October 20, 2022. The sun has four labeled sunspot active regions, two on the Earth-facing disk and two just over the west limb (edge).

Sun activity October 19: Large coronal hole persists

Sun activity is low, with only minimal C flaring. But the new coronal hole in the southeast quadrant persists and continues to move into a position for its high-speed solar wind to reach Earth. There’s also an incoming active region located east of this coronal hole, which is still not completely in view. And filaments can be seen dancing all around the solar limb (edge). In particular, the polar crown filaments on the sun’s northwest limb (edge) and south pole, are moving along magnetic field lines in such a way that they look like swirling tornadoes. We wait to see if the coronal hole will be the source of the next big auroral activity on Earth. Stay tuned.
Last 24 hours: Sun activity low. Only five C flares and the rest, a number of B flares. The largest flare of the past day was a C1.9 by AR3124 at 14:10 UTC on October 18, 2022. The sun has three labeled sunspot active regions.

Sun activity October 18: Large coronal hole in sight

The possible sunspot group over the sun’s southeast edge has not materialized. See the image below. But now a large coronal hole can be seen in the sun’s southeast quadrant. As the sun’s rotation carries it westward, it’ll soon become geoeffective (able to cause a geomagnetic disturbance at Earth due to its high-speed solar wind). A couple of weeks ago, two large coronal holes caused intense auroral activity as far south as Seattle and Minnesota. This new coronal hole might become a source for some fun on Earth – some gorgeous auroral displays – which will be welcomed given the lack of magnetically active sunspot regions in the past few days. But don’t count out the filaments and prominences just yet! Currently, we’re seeing some interesting activity from the polar crown filaments. They most likely won’t produce Earth-directed events. But they can still provide a nice show on the sun.
Last 24 hours: Sun activity is low. The largest flare, a C3.37 flare by AR3124, was produced at 17:24 UTC on October 17, 2022. Besides this, seven additional C-class flares erupted. The sun today has four labeled sunspot regions.

October 31, 2022

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