Sun

Sun activity: CMEs and a solar tsunami

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Close-up of the sun, seen as a large yellow surface with a mottled surface.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | David Hoskin in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, captured this filtered closeup of the sun (in hydrogen-alpha light) on March 26, 2022. Thank you, David!

March 27: CME headed our way

A CME from the sun is headed our way. A low level geomagnetic storm – with auroras at high latitudes – is possible. NASA estimates the CME will impact Earth late on March 27, 2022, or early on March 28. Activity at Earth is expected to be minor.

The upcoming CME is from a March 25 solar flare, which also caused a shortwave radio blackout over southeast Asia.

March 26: A solar tsunami

On Friday morning, March 25, 2022, sunspot AR2974 in the sun’s southern hemisphere produced an M-class flare. The explosion also sent a solar tsunami – officially called an EIT wave – rippling through the sun’s atmosphere. See the animation below.

Heaving, roiling purple surface with bright streaks moving across it.
Sun activity from March 25, 2022, from AR2974: an M-class solar flare. The eruption produced an EIT wave, minor radio blackout, and possibly an Earth-directed CME. Image via cruiser.lmsal.com/ SDO.

March 25: A large and active sunspot group rotates into view

A new sunspot group, or active region, has rotated into view on the Earth-facing side of the sun. The central part of the sunspots is at least as large as two Earths! The region, labeled AR2975, had produced multiple C-class flares over several days.

A large coronal hole near the sun’s center is now in range to send some activity toward Earth in the form of high-speed solar winds. When the stream reaches us in another couple of days, scientists anticipate elevated geomagnetic activity. This means a good chance for auroras.

Part of a gray rotating globe with dark spots (sunspots) coming into view.
Recent sun activity: the new active region (sunspot region) AR2975 is rotating onto the Earth-facing side of the sun’s disk. This animation shows the rotation during a timespan of roughly a day, from March 23 – 24, 2022. The images are from the NASA/SDO solar observatory.

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!

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More sun and space weather images from the EarthSky community

Green luminous curtains in a dark sky over an icy landscape.
View at EarthSky Community Photos | Joanne Richardson who was located outside of Fairbanks, Alaska, captured this bright aurora on March 27, 2022, and wrote “I love photographing the aurora. I try to view them yearly, whether it is Iceland, Finland, Canada or Alaska. I shot this at an ISO of 2000 at 12mm, F2.8 @ 6 seconds.” Thank you, Joanne!
Close-up of the sun, seen as a large yellow sphere with a mottled surface.
View at EarthSky Community Photos | Mario Rana in Hampton, Virginia, captured this filtered close-up of the sun (in hydrogen-alpha light) with sunspot region AR2975 and AR2976 on March 27, 2022. Thank you, Mario!
Close-up of the sun, seen as a large yellow sphere with a mottled surface.
View at EarthSky Community Photos | Michael Teoh at Heng Ee Observatory in Penang, Malaysia, captured this filtered close-up of the sun on March 27, 2022, and wrote “A second clear morning in a row with better condition than yesterday. The large active region AR2976 is rotating away from the limb, getting better positioned for imaging.” Thank you, Michael!
Large white monochromatic sphere with small dark spots
View at EarthSky Community Photos | Wendy Rae in Montana, captured this filtered view of the sun with large sunspot AR2976 on March 26, 2022. Thank you, Wendy!
Large yellow sphere with small dark spots.
View at EarthSky Community Photos | Param Sharma in Marshfield, Wisconsin, captured this filtered view of the sun on March 26, 2022. Thank you, Param!
Two pictures of the sun, displaying a large yellow sphere with small dark spots, together with a magnified view of the spots.
View at EarthSky Community Photos | Patrick Prokop in Savanna, Georgia, captured this filtered view of the sun on March 25, 2022, and wrote “Huge sunspot in the area of AR2976 with the smaller 2974, which caused the huge solar flare.” Thank you, Patrick!
Heavily magnified setting sun seen with prominent sunspots.
View at EarthSky Community Photos | Radhu Anghel in Bacau, Romania, captured this filtered view of the setting sun on March 25, 2022, and wrote “Active regions 2975 and 2976 during the sunset. Ancient chinese astronomers were watching the Sun at sunrise or sunset and keep a detailed record of the apparition of the sunspot: as long as they last on the Sun, the evolution and size of the sunspots. Who knows, maybe this sunspots will grow like in the next few days into an wonderful naked-eye view!” Thank you, Radhu!
Large yellow sphere with small dark spots.
View at EarthSky Community Photos | Anthony Calabro in Mooresvill, North Carolina, captured this filtered view of the sun on March 25, 2022, and wrote “Saw your article about the large sunspots facing Earth and took out my 70 – 300 lens with the sun filter I used for the last eclipse. I captured several photos with this odd, shaped triangle around the large sun spot. I wish I had a sun filter for my 400 mm L series glass!!!” Thank you, Anthony!
The sun, seen as a large yellow sphere with a mottled surface.
View at EarthSky Community Photos | Mario Rana in Hampton, Virginia, captured this detailed, filtered view of the sun (in hydrogen-alpha light) on March 25, 2022, and wrote “Active region AR2975 and a large prominence.” Thank you, Mario!
The sun, seen as a large yellow sphere with a mottled surface.
View at EarthSky Community Photos | Catherine Hyde in Cambria, California, captured this filtered view of the sun (in hydrogen-alpha light) on March 24, 2022, and wrote “This is a solar image taken on the afternoon of March 24th, just as that huge sunspot cluster was rotating into view.” Thank you, Catherine!

March 21: Explosion on sun’s far side

Spaceweather.com reported:

Something just exploded on the far side of the sun. On March 21, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) recorded a massive CME emerging from behind the sun’s southwestern limb.

A few hours later, it happened again. If Earth had been in the line of fire, we would now be anticipating a strong geomagnetic storm. Instead, the storm clouds will miss our planet.

Sun activity: Disk hiding sun, with explosive lines and streamers coming out from behind it.
March 21, 2022, explosion on the sun’s far side.

March 21-22: Prominence on sun’s limb

Part of roiling orange sphere with huge orange arc on one side against black background.
A solar prominence (also known as a filament when viewed against the solar disk) is a large, bright feature extending outward from the sun’s surface. Prominences (filaments) are anchored to the sun’s surface in its photosphere. They extend outward into the sun’s hot outer atmosphere, called the corona. A prominence forms over timescales of about a day, and stable prominences may persist in the corona for several months, looping hundreds of thousands of miles into space. This image, from March 22, 2022, shows a solar eruptive prominence, with Earth superimposed for a sense of scale. Image via Keith Strong (@drkstrong on Twitter).

Bottom line: Sun activity for the week of March 21, 2022. An M-class flare on March 26, 2022, sent out a “solar tsunami” aka as an EIT wave.

Posted 
March 27, 2022
 in 
Sun

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