Sun activity: Aurora alert for northern U.S. latitudes
October 1 sun activity: Aurora alert for northern U.S. latitudes
Today’s top news: 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.
Last 24 hours: Sun activity is low overall today, despite the M flares from AR3112, which was the most active player of the past 24 hours. It produced the two M class flares described above, plus 16 C flares. There are six labeled active regions in view on the solar circle today.
Next 24 hours: The forecast is for a 99% chance for C flares, 50% chance for M flares and 10% chance for X flares.
Next expected CME: No Earth bound CMEs detected during the period.
Current geomagnetic activity: Quiet now. G1 (minor) to G2 (moderate) G1 (minor) and G2 (moderate) geomagnetic storms are predicted for today and October 2-3.
September 30 sun activity: Beauty in the northeast
We saw a beautiful show from the sun’s northeast limb (edge) – loops, flaring and prominences dancing all around – over the past day. And we saw what looked like a M1.05 flare (it could be larger, but, from our earthly perspective, happened beyond the sun’s limb or edge) from this region at 4 UTC on September 30, 2022. Most experts think this region is the one formerly called AR3098. This sunspot region – probably a monster one – will soon come into fuller view again, and then it’ll get a new label. Just behind this still-unlabeled active region, an old friend is also coming. The former active region AR3091 is now located beyond the edge of the limb, still on the far side. It will come into sight in a day or two. Meanwhile, the two large coronal holes we’ve been watching are now located centrally on the disk and are geoeffective (capable of causing magnetic storms on Earth). Their high-speed solar wind effects should reach us by October 1. Plus there is a CME from the northeast filament eruption on September 28, also coming our way.
September 29 sun activity: Fiery northeast quadrant
There appears to be a massive active region, to the east of AR3011, just over the sun’s limb (edge). Note the quickly growing loops – and a surge of super-hot plasma – seen at the end of the animated gif below. This as-yet-unlabeled new region, possibly the former AR3098, is also showing numerous prominences dancing over the limb (see animated gif below). A filament erupted on the sun’s visible disk, near sunspot region AR3110 at 02:30 UTC on September 28, 2022. And two large coronal holes appear on the disk, one located at the central meridian above the equator. This central coronal hole is now geoeffective, capable of causing magnetic storms on Earth. Its high-speed solar wind should reach the Earth in a couple of days. G2 (moderate) geomagnetic storms are predicted by October 1, 2022, due to both this solar wind and the effects of a CME from the northeast filament eruption on September 28. More auroras are on the way! Keep tuned.
CME WATCH – 2022.09.28: Again, we are getting a lot of eruptive activity off the East limb, so the regions behind the limb look active. None of the CMEs are particularly violent or fast so I am not expecting any major flares from the new regions (famous last words!) pic.twitter.com/9fFb5ZHM9Z
— Keith Strong (@drkstrong) September 29, 2022
September 28 sun activity: Auroras last night, and 2 coronal holes
It’s been a good week so far for auroras! Two large coronal holes located in the sun’s northeast quadrant are moving closer to the central meridian of the sun. These holes emit high-speed solar wind, which in the next days will be source of more auroral displays as we had last night. The night before we had an unexpected glancing blow from a CME. Spectacular aurora observations continued last night from the northern U.S., Canada, and northern Europe. Submit your photos to EarthSky’s community page. Another surge of high-speed solar wind from these coronal holes is expected by September 30, 2022. This means more chances of auroral displays in the coming days. We will keep watching.
— Bhaswar Banerjee (@the_auroracle) September 28, 2022
This is the most intense red I have seen in Aurora. Last night, the sky looked like it’s bleeding red! Colors were so vibrant and were similar to the Nov 3rd, 2021 Aurora event. #northernlights #AuroraBorealis @Vincent_Ledvina @AuroraJAnderson pic.twitter.com/mHG0ZUoJ0x
— Rj Roldan ™ (@rjayroldan) September 27, 2022
September 27 sun activity: Unexpected geomagnetic storm. Auroras!
There was an unexpected G2 (moderate) geomagnetic storm last night. The storm threshold was reached at 02:13 UTC on September 27, 2022. Social media was buzzing about auroras visible at latitudes as low as the U.S. states of New York, Wisconsin, and Washington. The storm resulted from the unexpected impact of a CME, probably one of two from September 23. Neither of these CMEs was predicted to hit Earth. The impact was a glancing blow, but enough to disturb our magnetic field, creating the aurora-producing storm. The results from this impact might extend into the rest of today, September 27. Meanwhile, on the sun itself, AR3110 is the largest and most complex sunspot grouping, but remained at low activity. An extra bonus is seen on LASCO C3. The brilliant spot is Venus transitioning as the morning star … soon to become the evening star.
— Chris Wicklund (@Wicky_dubs_WX) September 27, 2022
September 26 sun activity: New region coming into view
Sun activity today is low from the visible sunspot regions, but something new appears to be waiting in the wings. A new region that sits just over the sun’s east limb (edge) – north of AR3110 – is beginning to show itself. Energetic coronal loops and prominences are in view even before the driving sunspot region below them. The region should be in view over the next day. We wait to see what it might bring to sun activity. Two large coronal holes sit on the sun, one on the south pole and one at the east limb (edge). The one at the south pole will probably not have much impact on Earth. The other one (if it persists) will eventually rotate westward to where its high-speed solar wind can impact Earth, possibly creating auroral displays.
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 on October 1, 2022, is low overall. But an aurora alert for latitudes as low as the northern U.S. states is predicted for tonight and into October 2-3.