Sun activity: A strong storm ended this quiet week
Sun activity for April 4 to 10, 2022
No strong geomagnetic storming was predicted for last night (April 9-10, 2022). But, for a few hours, we had a strong geomagnetic storm anyway. The storm measured G-3 in intensity (“strong,” as described on NOAA’s Space Weather Scales. EarthSky was tagged in the first tweet below, from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. We saw another tweet from Red Dear in Alberta, Canada that called the storm “a clash of the Titans” between the aurora and the moon (now waxing toward full), but went on to say it was “a bit underwhelming.”
Aurora Borealis and STEVE
Taken by Christy Turner on April 10, 2022 @ Calgary, Alberta,
A gorgeous display of aurora tonight and finally some clear skies near Calgary, Alberta. STEVE (Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement) also made a quest appearance!
— mizuho kai (@mizuho73700856) April 10, 2022
A clash of the titans between lady aurora, the moon and mother nature in the skies over Red Deer on Saturday night. And while this geomagnetic storm went G3, it was a bit underwhelming. Time-lapse taken between 11:00PM and 3:00AM MDT.#ABStorm #StormHour #Aurora #NorthernLights pic.twitter.com/vCMaRRUJVc
— Jeff Adams (@jeffmadams) April 10, 2022
April 9: A beautiful blast
Both NOAA and Helioviewer registered a mighty prominence on the limb (edge) the sun today (April 9, 2022), as seen in the video above from Helioviewer.
April 9: More activity coming?
After last week’s very active sun, this week has been relatively quiet. But AR2975, the sunspot region that gave us such an exciting week of solar activity last week, might soon be back. Scientists using helioseismology – the study of the sun through its oscillations – to look at our sun suspect that AR2975 is still active on the sun’s far side (the side facing away from Earth). If so, as the sun rotates, it could carry this active region back into our view soon.
More activity coming?!! Remember AR2975 that gave us all that exciting flare, CME, and SEP activity? It might be back soon?! Looking on the other side of the Sun with helioseismology shows a good side sunspot region that could be AR2975. Maybe more excitement soon!! ???? pic.twitter.com/oJQvScnJaU
— Dr. C. Alex Young (@TheSunToday) April 9, 2022
Looking at the coming sunspot. SDO detects vibrations of the Sun that allows us to “see” the other side – this is called helioseismology. The left globe is on the other side, right one is Earth-facing. The yellow-green shows magnetic field of the sunspot regions. Cool! ??? pic.twitter.com/eNRDKPO6gG
— Dr. C. Alex Young (@TheSunToday) April 9, 2022
April 9: Auroral activity forecast
The possible coronal mass ejection (CMEs) – and mild geomagnetic storm – predicted for April 6, 2022, did not happen. The CME predicted for April 7 didn’t happen either. Spaceweather.com said on April 9:
…Minor cracks are opening in Earth’s magnetosphere as our planet passes through the wake of a CME that arrived on April 8. The CME delivered a weak, glancing blow that did not initially spark a geomagnetic storm. Earth’s transit through the CME’s wake may, however, yield some high-latitude auroras on April 9.
April 7: A quiet sun filament
Early in the day on April 7, 2022, SOHO/LASCO and SDO registered a quiet sun filament not likely to impact the Earth. See below what Dr. Erika Palmeiro shared in her tweets.
Here is how the CME appeared in SOHO/LASCO imagery ?? Its western (right) leg could glance Earth, but the bulk of the CME cloud is directed away from us so no major impacts on the horizon ? pic.twitter.com/XmEB4SIbbS
— Dr. Erika Palmerio (@erikapal) April 7, 2022
A video of last week’s very active sun!
The sun gave us some great activity from March 30 to April 4. There were 4 M-class flares, 1 X-flare, 2 solar particle events, and 8 CMEs. Five of those CMEs were Earth-directed and 3 were non-Earth directed. The video below showing this activity in 4 wavelengths of light from SDO. Starting from the top right, gold 171 angstrom extreme UV, visibility light (showing sunspots), red 304 angstrom extreme UV, and brown 193 angstrom extreme UV. Find out what the SDO wavelengths show on the sun.
Sun excitement! Activity is picking up as we approach solar max. From March 30 – April 4 we had 4 M and 1 X flares, 2 particle events, 5 Earth and 3 non-Earth directed CMEs. Lots to come. A look back with SDO in 4 wavelengths, visible light and extreme UV (304, 171 and 193!) ??? pic.twitter.com/oY3uJOlJGI
— Dr. C. Alex Young (@TheSunToday) April 7, 2022
How the magnetic fields move on the sun
April 6 sun activity: Filament eruption, plus minor geomagnetic storm
At least one and maybe two coronal mass ejections (CMEs), from flares on the sun a few days ago, could give Earth’s magnetic field a glancing blow beginning midday April 6 and into April 7, 2022. Minor geomagnetic storms – and increased auroras – are possible at that time.
April 4: A valley of fire near AR2978
April 3: A farewell blast from region AR2984
To our readers and community
We invite you all to send us your beautiful recent photos of sunspots and auroras! And we love receiving your photos! To those of you who’ve already posted a photo to our community, thank you.
This week’s sun activity photos from EarthSky’s community
Bottom line: Sun activity for the week of April 4 to 10, 2022. After last week’s intense sun activity, this week has been relatively quiet. But we had an unexpected (albeit brief) strong geomagnetic storm during the night of April 9-10.