Sun activity: Aurora alert for northern U.S. latitudes

Sun activity: October 1, 2022 Tonight Aurora Forecast chart.
On October 1, 2022, sun activity is low overall. But high-speed solar wind from coronal holes is predicted to cause geomagnetic storming – and an increased possibility for auroras – tonight and into October 2-3. Here’s tonight’s aurora forecast chart. Image via NOAA.

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, 2022 Sun activity brings at sight sun spot AR3112 on the Northeast limb (edge).
Sun activity September 30, 2022: Today we welcome AR3112, which just rotated into view on the sun’s northeast limb (edge), and which has already blasted out 2 M flares. Image via SDO.
September 30, 2022 Sun activity shows red solar northeast quadrant shows a beautiful filament erupting.
September 30, 2022 Fiery solar northeast quadrant. Sun activity produced a beautiful filament from sun spot active region AR3111. AIA 304 angstrom. Image via SDO.
The sun, seen as a yellow sphere with dark spots.
Today’s sun activity with the most active regions labeled (6 UTC on October 2, 2022). Original image, without labels, via NASA SDO. Courtesy of NASA/SDO and the AIA, EVE, and HMI science teams, with labeling by EarthSky. Today’s sun is posted by Armando Caussade. Why are east and west on the sun reversed?

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.

Sun activity: beautiful prominences.
Sun activity September 29, 2022: A fiery northeast limb (edge) shows beautiful activity with loops and flares, both C class and M class. Image via SDO.

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.

Red sphere throwing a huge flare into space.
September 28, 2022. Sun activity shows a beautiful prominence on the northeast limb (edge). AIA 304. Image via GOES-16 NOAA.

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.

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.

September 28, 2022, sun activity: Yellow sphere representing the sun with 2 darker areas in the middle.
September 28, 2022, sun activity. Two large coronal holes now occupy the visible disk of the sun. They’re the likely source for high-speed solar wind reaching Earth, causing last night’s auroral displays. And there’s more to come! Image via NOAA.
September 26, 2022 Aurora display in Edmonton.
View at EarthSky Community Photos | Joel Weatherly in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, took a photo of the aurora on September 26, 2022, capturing this glorious result of yesterday’s sun activity. He wrote: “While out watching Jupiter during its closest opposition in decades, we were treated to a surprise geomagnetic storm. Auroras filled the sky to the northeast, while Jupiter shone brightly in the southeast.” Great photo! Thank you Joel!

CME erupted. The bright spot on the upper right is Venus.
This September 26, 2022, image shows a CME by AR3107. The bright spot to the right of the central sun is no other than the planet Venus – not visible from Earth now – in transit behind the sun from our earthly perspective. Venus was a morning “star.” By the year’s end, it’ll be an evening “star,” visible for all to see! Image via SOHO.

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.

Slightly less than a quarter globe from the upper left in a red and gold color. bright areas and loops sits just above the edge.
Sun activity for September 26, 2022: A new region just over the east limb (edge) shows itself with active coronal loops and solar prominences. This is shown with SDO 304 and 171 angstroms. Image via SDO.

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 orange sphere with a mottled surface.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Mario Rana in Hampton, Virginia, captured this filtered image on October 1, 2022, and wrote: “Hydrogen-alpha image of the sun showing active region AR3112 coming into view on the northeast limb. I love that beautiful, long, looping filament!” Thank you, Mario
Large, yellow setting sun with small dark spots and a darkening gradient.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Meiying Lee in Taipei, Taiwan, captured this setting sun with sunspots and a green rim (an effect from Earth’s atmosphere) at 5:35 p.m. on September 29, 2022. She wrote “This was the sun about to set in the sea on September 29. Because of the clouds, the sun had a gradient from yellow to red and green – a narrow green upper edge. At the same time, there were 3 sunspots and a plane flying by! The green rim that occurs when the sun sets is mainly because green light is more refracted than red light.” Thank you, Meiying!
September 27, 2022 Beautiful Aurora in Wisconsin, USA.
View at EarthSky Community Photos | Diane Rains in Hudson, Wisconsin, captured this photo of the aurora at 11:24 p.m. on September 26, 2022, local time (05:24 UTC on September 27, 2022). She wrote: “The beautiful aurora borealis returns!” Thank you, Diane!
Large, yellow rising sun with thin layared clouds in front.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Raúl Cortés in Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico, captured this rising sun on September 25, 2022. He wrote: “This morning I got a chance to capture the rising sun and get registered some sun spot active region: AR3110, AR3107, AR3105 and AR3108.” Thank you, Raúl!
The sun, seen as a sectional orangish sphere with a mottled surface.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Randall Kayfes in Tucson, Arizona, captured this hydrogen-alpha filtered view of the sun on September 24, 2022, and wrote “Nice row of sunspots in white light. This photo compliments Mario Rana’s hydrogen-alpha photo of the same date.” Thank you, Randall!

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.

October 1, 2022

Like what you read?
Subscribe and receive daily news delivered to your inbox.

Your email address will only be used for EarthSky content. Privacy Policy
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

More from 

C. Alex Young

View All