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
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.
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.
Flaring is low but the Sun still got some stuff going on. Check out the polar crown filament up in the northwest. Looks like the beginnings of a lift-off. great action from loops from AR3112+(?) just over the limb. A view with SDO 171/193/131 more https://t.co/ChTIRrkKXh??? pic.twitter.com/A9uaSAT3wH
— Dr. C. Alex Young (@TheSunToday) October 17, 2022
Sun activity October 17: New sunspot region coming into view
A new sunspot region is coming into view just over the sun’s southeast limb (edge). The sunspots themselves aren’t yet visible, but overlying coronal loops – great arcs of solar plasma curving above the sun’s visible edge – can be seen. On the rest of the sun’s visible surface, activity is low. In the past day, we had only C flares. So, we’re waiting to see if flaring will pick back up with the new region. Filaments around the sun are active with a lot of motion from the southern polar crown filament. The large prominence on the northwest limb is beginning to erupt at the time of this writing. There would probably not be an Earth-directed component of any resulting CME. Let’s see what happens.
Last 24 hours: Sun activity is low. The sun produced seven C flares over the past day. The largest was a C1.8 from AR3123 at 16:06 UTC on September 16. The sun today has four labeled sunspot regions.
Sun activity October 16: Fantastic auroras!
Some fantastic auroral displays were reported yesterday (October 15, 2022) at high latitudes (see tweets above and below). Perhaps we’ll get more tonight. There’s a chance for a G1 (minor) geomagnetic storm today from high-speed solar wind from a coronal hole. Keep an eye out!
Last 24 hours: Sun activity is low. But filaments sit over the sun’s poles (called polar crown filaments). And filaments stretch all around the sun, while prominences dance around the east and west limbs (edges) of the sun’s visible surface. The prominence sitting over the sun’s northwest limb – where the active region pair AR3112/AR3116 sits just out of view – appears the most active. The largest flare of the past day was a C6 at 14:32 UTC on October 15, over the northwest limb (edge), probably from AR3112. The remaining flares were B class. The sun today has four labeled sunspot regions.
Sun activity October 15: Aurora alert for northern US latitudes
Sun activity has provoked G1 (minor) geomagnetic storming. The threshold was reached at 1:29 UTC this morning (October 15, 2022). Unsettled to active conditions are expected for the rest of October 15. An aurora alert has been issued for northern U.S. latitudes as low as Maine and Michigan. Go get ’em, aurora chasers! Share with us your beautiful aurora photos. On the sun itself, the dual sunspot region AR3112-AR3116 struck again this morning at 9:20 UTC, with an M1.3 flare. That was just as this region was being carried out of sight on the sun’s northwest limb (edge) via the sun’s rotation. Due to its position on the boundary of the sun’s horizon, it is difficult to define whether it was from AR3112 or AR3116, as discussed earlier in the week. No Earth-directed CME. A few minutes after the M flare, an R1 (minor) radio blackout occurred, affecting southern Africa. Now this fiery combo – AR3112-AR3116 – is gone, with only two small and decaying sun spots remaining. See on the diagram below how few spots remain on the sun today? Will today be the second spotless day of 2022 for Solar Cycle 25? We’ll see. Stay tuned!
Last 24 hours: The M1.3 from AR3112-AR3116 was the largest flare of the past day. Besides that, only one C1 flare also by AR3112 produced and one B8.1 flare from AR3116. This dynamic duo remained the main player of the day, despite being almost out of sight. A long filament erupted on the sun’s southwest solar quadrant, along with a beautiful prominence nearby on the southwest limb (edge). A CME was observed leaving the sun. It is under analysis to determine whether it will affect Earth. The sun today bears only two labeled sunspot regions.
Sun activity October 14: AR3112 and AR3116 departing
Sun activity is low, now that the power combo of AR3112 and AR3116 is near the sun’s northwestern edge, about to be carried out of view by the sun’s rotation. They provided a good show of M-class flaring over the past few days. Now they’re departing, among long-lasting beautiful prominences. Watch for last-minute flare production as they leave! And expect prominences in this region. Meanwhile – moving now to the sun’s central southern hemisphere – a filament eruption occurred at 7 UTC on October 13, 2022. A CME was observed. Modeling of the eruption is in progress to determine if there is any Earth-directed component. There is also a newcomer on the sun’s northeast limb (edge). Yesterday, it received the label AR3121.
Last 24 hours: Sun activity has been low for the past day. There were two C-class flares and three B-class flares. The largest in the past day was a C2.3 flare from AR3119. There is a B-class flare registered still from AR3112. The sun today has four labeled sunspot regions.
Nothing big, still a lot going on from all over the place. The brighter area is mostly AR3112/AR3116. AR3112 produced an M1.5 at the end of 10/12 beginning of 10/13. There are also several jets from it & some nice prominence action on the limb. SDO 304/171/193/131 ??? pic.twitter.com/hvw9cQ1Vpp
— Dr. C. Alex Young (@TheSunToday) October 13, 2022
Sun activity October 13: Sunspot teamwork at an end?
Yesterday, we talked about M flares coming from a location both next to and between two sunspot regions, AR3112 and AR3116. In the past day, we saw another M flare from AR3112 alone. So AR3116 – the region’s former partner – now seems to be quiet, and both regions have decayed in magnetic complexity. The M1.5 flare from AR3112 happened at 00:10 UTC on October 13, 2022. It produced an R1 (minor) radio blackout that affected French Polynesia and part of the South Pacific Ocean. Data is under analysis to determine if the flare produced an Earth-directed CME. Meanwhile, AR3119 has picked up in activity. The animated gif above shows – among other things – a C3.8 flare at 02:25 UTC from AR3112 and a C3.5 at 04:48 UTC from AR3119.
Last 24 hours: Sun activity is moderate with an M1.54 flare – the largest in the past day – from AR3112. The remaining five flares were C class. The sun today has four labeled sunspot regions.
Sun activity October 12: Sunspot regions working together?
Today’s top news: Yesterday (October 11), we saw an M1.5 flare produced at 10:50 UTC. It shortly followed the M3.9 flare we reported about yesterday morning. The two flares have been listed by different observing groups as coming from sunspot regions AR3112 and AR3116. We had it listed as coming from AR3116. Really, it’s from both regions, and neither. It’s a good example of the challenge of trying for exactness, while looking at very complicated objects such as our sun and its sunspot active regions. The location of the two flares is, in fact, both next to and between the two regions. So, for now, it’s safe to say the two flares came from the AR3112/AR3116 complex. Scientists often impose labels that nature chooses not to follow. Usually, it means we have more to learn. And that is the excitement of science!
Last 24 hours: Sun activity is moderate due to M flares. The largest during the period was an M1.5 flare produced by the AR3112/AR3116 region. The remaining seven flares were C class. The sun today has four labeled sunspot regions.
October 11: Sun activity picks up
Sun activity is now moderate, with 2 more M flares in addition to the M1.1 we reported yesterday morning. AR3112 produced an M2.4 flare at 16:20 UTC on October 10. And AR3116 produced an M3.9 at 8:40 UTC on October 11. These two M flares produced R1 radio blackouts over Indonesia and Africa respectively. AR3112 and AR3116 are both nearing the west limb (edge) of the sun but will remain visible a few more days. More M flares ahead? Also, see the gif below. It’s illustrating that – as we get closer to solar maximum, expected around the middle of this decade – we can see an overall increase in CMEs. The gif below shows activity yesterday … CMEs in all directions! All in all, an interesting day.
Last 24 hours: Sun activity is now moderate, with two M flares in the past day. The largest during the period was an M3.98 flare produced by AR3112. The other 18 flares were C class. The sun today has five labeled sunspot regions.
October 10 sun activity: M1.1 flare from AR3112
Today’s top news: M1.1 flare! After several days with only C flares, which are not as powerful as M flares, we finally had an M flare on the sun’s visible surface. The dramatic brightening came from sunspot region AR3112 (see top image) early this morning, at 00:35 UTC on October 10, 2022. An R1 radio blackout followed the eruption. It affected areas in New Guinea and the southwest Pacific Ocean, peaking at 00:48 UTC on October 10. Otherwise, prominences are still plentiful around the solar disk. A detaching filament erupted at around 6 UTC on October 10. The GOES-16 satellite captured it (see animation gif below).
Last 24 hours: Despite the M flare – which was barely an M flare, at the lowest levels of the M class – sun activity is still considered low. We saw only 14 C flares, and the one M flare, in total. AR3116 was the most active sunspot of the day, but AR3112 produced the largest flare, the M flare. Today the sun has seven labeled sunspots on the Earth-facing side.
October 9 sun activity: Low, with a glimpse of Venus
Sun activity is low. No surprises on the sun today. But, as you can see in the image above, the brightest planet visible from Earth – Venus – is now nearing the sun along our line of sight. Skywatchers can’t view Venus from Earth right now. It disappeared into the sunrise some weeks back, heading toward its superior conjunction, when it will be behind the sun as seen from Earth on October 22. But spacecraft can see it! And Venus will return to Earth’s evening sky before 2022 ends. In the meantime, beautiful prominences can be seen dancing all around on today’s visible sun. At this writing (11 UTC on October 9), they appear particularly engaging in the sun’s southwest quadrant. All these blasts are happening beyond the limb (edge) on the far side of the sun. But they jut so far out past the sun’s limb that we can see them from Earth. Although there’s no significant activity on the near side of the sun today, on the far side a CME occurred. It’s not Earth-directed, of course, but it might sideswipe the sun’s innermost planet, Mercury. And, sometimes, these coronal mass ejections can provoke comet-like tails on Mercury. We will be watching for any reports on that possibility, and let you know.
Last 24 hours: Sun activity low. Only C class level flares during the past day, 13 in total. AR3116 was the most active sunspot of the day. The largest flaring was a relatively puny C3.39, which occurred at 08:20 UTC on October 9, 2022. Today the sun bears seven labeled sunspots on the Earth-facing side.
Next 24 hours: The forecast is for a 90% chance for C flares, 50% chance for M flares and 10% chance for X flares.
October 8 sun activity: Confirmed, AR3112 has split
Yesterday we talked about giant sunspot region AR3112 looking as if it might be ready to split into multiple regions. Today, it has happened: AR3112 is now two regions. The new region, to the west on the sun’s visible disk, is now numbered AR3120. Meanwhile, a nearby friend, sunspot region AR3116, surprised everybody with an M1 class flare (Raul notes: “In Mexico, we say, ‘From where it is not expected, the hare jumps.'”) The M flare is a surprise because AR3116 appeared stable and was even showing some decay. Then, suddenly, it blasted out a slow, long-lasting M1 flare reaching its maximum at 14:44 UTC on October 7, 2022. The sun does what it pleases! Here on Earth, in the minutes following the M flare, we saw an R1 (minor) radio blackout at 14:49 UTC on October 7, 2022. The radio blackout affected South America, Brazil and the South Atlantic Ocean. Overall, the rest of the visible side of the sun appeared stable with slight decay on regions AR3115 and AR3117.
Last 24 hours: Sun activity reached moderate levels, due to the long-lasting M1 flare from AR 3116. Besides this M flare, only C class flares were produced during the past day, seven in total. The sun today bears seven labeled sunspot regions. There are two newcomers. AR3119 emerged in the northeast quadrant. And AR3120 appeared when AR3112 split.
October 7 sun activity: Will fiery AR3112 split into multiple regions?
Overall, the sun continues calm and quiet. Sunspot region AR3112 continues as the largest and most complex region. This region has been expanding east-west-wise, with its sunspots spreading out from one another on the sun’s visible surface. Currently, it’s still considered a single sunspot region. But experts are saying it might split into two or three separate regions. The expanding distance between sunspots in the AR3112 region might be why it has produced only C flares in recent days. Still, there are expectations for this region to produce stronger M – or even X – flares. Meanwhile, on the sun’s southern quadrant, a long filament that has produced flares and CMEs is now moving closer to the sun’s southwest limb (edge). And, at the time of this writing (11 UTC on October 7), a filament has appeared on the sun’s northwest quadrant, between AR3112 and AR3111. There is a blast from this area in progress!
Last 24 hours: Sun activity continues low, producing only six C class flares during the period. The largest was a C2.98 flare by AR3112, blasted out at 23 UTC October 6, 2022. Four flares came from AR3112, one from AR3116 and one from an undetermined yet active region, which could be the filament in progress mentioned above. The sun now bears six labeled sunspot regions. There are two newcomers, AR3117 that emerged east of AR3115 on the southwest quadrant and AR3118 on the east limb (edge).
October 6 sun activity: NOAA’s new Aurora Dashboard
This is nice! Beginning in late September 2022, the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) has surprised us with a new Aurora Dashboard, albeit in an experimental phase, but still providing useful information on NOAA’s aurora forecast for each day. Feedback is welcome, they said. Congratulations to everybody at SWPC, and thank you for sharing your info! At the time of this writing (11 UTC on October 6), NOAA has issued an aurora alert for the possibility of displays at high northern latitudes (such as Alaska and Anchorage). The threshold for this activity was reached at 08:59 UTC on October 6, 2022. Is it still happening? If you’re at a high latitude, look and see.
Last 24 hours: Sun activity was low in the past day, with only 11 C class flares. The largest was a C2.7 flare – from AR3112 – at the beginning of the period, at 11 UTC October 5, 2022. In fact, AR3112 was the only player of the past day. No new sunspots today, either. And sunspot region AR3110 has moved out of sight, carried westward by the sun’s rotation. The sun now bears six labeled sunspot regions.
October 5 sun activity: M flare and filament eruption
Double sun fun! We saw a beautiful M1.6 flare yesterday (12:20 UTC on October 4, 2022) from sunspot region AR3110. At almost the same time as the M flare, there was a blast from a filament located centrally in the sun’s southern hemisphere at 13:20 UTC on October 4. Yet – overall – after the storm comes a calm. After the high activity of the past days – with multiple M flares and an X flare on Saturday – sun activity has now returned to moderate levels. AR3110 is now near the western edge of the sun’s visible disk, soon to be carried out of sight by the sun’s rotation. So, AR3112 is now the largest and more magnetically complex region on the solar disk. Despite its impressive size and complexity, it produced only C flares yesterday. And, with AR3110 now moving out of view, today’s flaring forecast is lower than yesterday’s. In the meantime, on Earth, auroras all around!
Last 24 hours: Sun activity is moderate, with one M1.6 flare by AR3110 at 12:20 UTC. AR3110 only produced one C class flare besides its M flare. AR3112 produced other four C flares. No new sunspots today. The sun now bears seven labeled sunspot regions.
October 4 sun activity: Auroras forecast for northern U.S. latitudes
Sun activity is high! And, at the time of this writing (11 UTC on October 4, 2022), conditions are such that a G1 (minor) geomagnetic storm is expected to go into G2 (moderate) storm sometime today. Displays of the aurora, or northern lights, might occur as far south as the northern U.S., in places like northern Michigan and Maine. Meanwhile, on the side of the sun that’s visible to us, activity remains high, with six M flares over the past day. Sunspot region AR3112 remains the most complex sunspot group we see. And another newcomer has arrived in the sun’s northeast quadrant. It is now labeled AR3116. Therefore, the sun’s northeast quadrant is the most fiery-looking part of the visible solar disk for now. Plus … big news! NOAA increased its prediction for X-flares today to 35%! We have not seen a prediction that high since last May. Solar maximum – the peak of the current 11-year sunspot cycle, Cycle 25 – is expected by the middle of this decade. And today we see it happening!
Last 24 hours: Sun activity has been high over the past day, with six M flares and 21 C flares. The highest was an M4.2 at 10:10 UTC on October 3, 2022. The sun today bears seven labeled sunspot regions. In addition to the regions mentioned above, new sunspot regions have emerged in the sun’s southeast quadrant. These new groups received the numbers AR3114 (which decayed and vanished rapidly), AR3115 and AR3117.
October 3 sun activity: X flare and more!
BAM! An X1.06 flare happened late yesterday, October 2, 2022, at 19:53 UTC. It came from sunspot region AR3110. And it happened after a couple of days of M flares from both the newcomer AR3112 and AR3110. It was almost like a call-and-response yesterday between these two regions. What a show! And elsewhere on the visible sun yesterday, we could see decaying coronal holes, beautiful plasma ejections and filaments. Meanwhile, on Earth, there was an R3 (strong) radio blackout following the X flare. And there was a Kp5 (G1 minor) geomagnetic storm last night, with the threshold reached at 22:54 UTC. There were auroral displays all around, including in Iceland where one of the authors of this post – solar physicist C. Alex Young – has been visiting. Check out a few of his photos from last night below.
Last 24 hours: Sun activity was high with one X and three M flares. The big surprise was the producer of yesterday’s X1 flare, sunspot region AR3110. Added to that, AR3110 just produced an M4.2 flare at 9:50 UTC on October 3, 2022. And yesterday, before the big blast from AR3110, sunspot region AR3112 also exploded with two M flares in quick succession. The first was an M1.2 flare at 13:52 UTC, and the second an M1 flare at 15:34 UTC (both on October 2). We also saw 19 C flares over the past 24 hours. Today, there are six labeled active regions in view on the visible sun.
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October 2 sun activity: AR3110 delivers
Today’s sunspot hero is AR3110, which gave us a one-two punch of M flares over the past day. First, an M5.9 flare blasted at 20 UTC on October 1, 2022 (the corresponding radio blackout was over the South Pacific). Second was a M8.77 flare – almost an X flare – at 2:21 UTC on October 2 (radio blackout over South Asia and Australia). The strong flares produced CMEs, which are now under analysis to determine if they’re Earth-directed. Beautiful plasma ejections and filaments can be seen on the animation below. AR3110 exhibited growth and is now showing a possible reverse polarity. AR3112 itself was stable during the past day. Meanwhile, the coronal holes we have been observing on the sun’s visible disk are decaying and being moved by the sun’s rotation closer to its west limb (edge).
Last 24 hours: Sun activity reached high levels today with the two strong M flares from AR3110. Overall, in addition to these two M flares, 19 C flares were rerported. There are now six labeled active regions in view on the sun’s visible disk today.
October 1 sun activity: Aurora alert for northern U.S. latitudes
Geomagnetic conditions are quiet at this writing (7 a.m.ET or 11 UTC on October 1, 2022), but geomagnetic storming is predicted during the day today, due to the effects of high-speed solar wind from coronal holes. And these conditions will extend through October 2-3. There’s an aurora alert for latitudes as low as New York, Wisconsin and Washington state. We’ve been watching two coronal holes on the sun all week, and two new holes have appeared on the solar disk, one central above the sun’s equator, and the other near the sun’s northern pole. Also on the sun itself, the active region that’s attracted attention much of this week from behind the sun’s northeast limb (edge) now has a new number. We give you … AR3112! For the last three days, this region – although unseen behind the edge of the visible disk of the sun – gave us multiple M flares, CMEs, filaments and prominences. AR3112 produced most of the flares seen in the past day, including nine C flares and two M flares. BAM BAM, this sunspot active region AR3112 presented us with two M-class flares in a sequence on September 30, 2022, the first an impulsive M2.9 flare at 16 UTC and the second an M1.4 at 17:30 UTC. Both M flares provoked R1 (minor) radio blackouts, first over South America and then over the south Pacific Ocean near the equator. Plus a new sunspot region, now labeled AR3113, emerged rapidly close to AR3110. And a third region – likely the former AR3091 – will come into view in a day or two.
Bottom line: Sun activity archive for October 2022. A daily record of flaring, big filaments and prominences, and other sorts of activity, on our local star.