Sun activity: Week of April 26, 2022
May 1 update: Sun activity back to low
After yesterday’s X-flare and M-flares, sun activity has settled down. The sun’s rotation has carried AR2994 – the region that produced all the activity – around to the back side of the sun, the side we don’t see from Earth. Slightly elevated geomagnetic activity is expected from high-speed solar wind from May 1 to May 2. The grazing impact from an April 29 CME could keep the geomagnetic field unsettled into May 3.
Spectacular eruption with the X1 flare! ???? pic.twitter.com/TlG1K57Omi
— Dr. C. Alex Young (@TheSunToday) May 1, 2022
Six flares above the M1 class occurred during the past 2 days, and most of them were associated with a CME. The first one, M1.1 at 29 Apr 07:30, was associated with the fastest CME (~1700 km/s), even producing a proton event. Others, including the X1.1, were slower (<800 km/s). pic.twitter.com/ropXmkuIdZ
— Halo CME (@halocme) May 1, 2022
On today's episode of active regions waiting to become active on/beyond the west limb:
Farewell AR2994! Will you live to see a third rotation? ? pic.twitter.com/Njv177GEfI
— ? Sara Housseal ? (@SNHWx) April 30, 2022
April 30 update: X-flare!
Departing sunspot region AR2994 emitted an X-flare – the biggest sort of flare – at 13:47 UTC on Saturday, April 30, 2022. Looking at the X-ray emission was like seeing a flare crescendo, after a rise in intensity. This region first emitted an M1.4-flare, then an M4.8, then – bam! – an X1.1.
Any CMEs will most likely not be Earth-directed.
Over the past 24 hours, then, AR2994 and AR2993 have produced 5 M-flares and an X-flare.
Meanwhile, an M1.2 flare from spotless region AR2996 also has an associated fast CME. NASA’s models show at least a glancing blow with Earth, perhaps as soon as May 1, with possible geomagnetic activity up to G2. Look out for auroras around May 1!
Kaboom! X marks the spot! AR2994 is not leaving without a show. ????? pic.twitter.com/1fFFWEsUTu
— Dr. C. Alex Young (@TheSunToday) April 30, 2022
April 29 update: M1.22-flare
After days of activity no higher than C-class flares, the sun surprised us with a beautiful M1.22 flare from a spotless region, AR2996 in the sun’s northwest quarter, on April 29, 2022.
The southeast quarter looks busy with new sunspot regions, AR3000 and AR3001. A new region, possibly the former AR2992, is just around the corner and may soon bear a new label of AR3002 or greater.
Good morning M-flare! AR2996 in the NW quarter of the sun and which is now almost without a spot still has some juice left. At 7:50 UT it gave off the flare along with a beautiful injection of material. Have to wait for more data to see if any of the CME makes it to us.??? pic.twitter.com/OcdarE9EQV
— Dr. C. Alex Young (@TheSunToday) April 29, 2022
April 28 update: Filament eruptions still dominate
Filament eruptions still dominate the activity on the sun on April 27-28, 2022, with flares only in the C-class range. Below you will find a video tweet showing the sun for the last seven days in two SDO wavelengths of light.. These wavelengths, 304 and 171 angstroms, help to highlight all the filament eruptions.
We do expect more activity on April 28, into April 29. This geomagnetic activity should be caused by high-speed solar wind from the coronal hole (CH HSS or coronal hole high-speed stream) we saw on April 26.
Filament Fun! The last 7 days have not seen the flare activity the week before but boy the filaments have been flying off the sun. A look at the last 7 days in 304/171 SDO. Keep your eyes on the edges of the sun???? pic.twitter.com/abIv9Sp6Is
— Dr. C. Alex Young (@TheSunToday) April 28, 2022
April 27 update: Minor geomagnetic storm arrived
Despite low activity on the sun, we had a minor geomagnetic storm on April 27. Last week’s Kp index went as low as Kp1 and even Kp0. On the 27th we reached Kp5. All this indicates … auroras. Unfortunately, this happened during the day for both sides of the planet. Stay tuned.
Huge prominence eruption off the northeast limb. pic.twitter.com/9DN8uCqAGd
— Edward.Vijayakumar (@edwanx) April 27, 2022
April 26: Sun activity moderate, with nice filament eruption
Meanwhile, a well-defined coronal hole is sitting near the sun’s disk center. It may provide some fast solar wind as it rotates farther west.
AR2993 and AR2994 are still the regions to watch.
Filament eruption and the associated CME from the southeastern limb of the Sun. pic.twitter.com/ndf8xTJa0e
— Edward.Vijayakumar (@edwanx) April 26, 2022
Video of sun activity: April 13 to 21
Busy and exciting week! April 13 to April 20, 2022 – 2 X-class flares (X2.2 largest so far for cycle 25), 14 M-flares (1 almost X – M9.6) ,and 12+ non-Earth-directed CMEs. Two regions on the sun were the major players. SDO 304/171/131/193 ???? What’s next? ?? pic.twitter.com/a6MjUfINfI
— Dr. C. Alex Young (@TheSunToday) April 22, 2022
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.
Recent sun activity photos from the EarthSky community
Bottom line: Your latest on sun activity: On the morning of April 30, 2022, the sun produced an X-flare from AR2994, a sunspot region that is rotating away from Earth.