If you feel like March has been a good month for auroras ... you're right. According to 75 years of historical records analyzed by solar physicist David Hathaway, the months around equinoxes are almost twice as likely as solstices to have geomagnetic disturbances. Indeed, according to this plot, March may be the best month of the year for Arctic auroras:
Photo credit: Caroline/AdventureMutzz of Ersfjordbotn, Norway. Mar. 8, 2017
Researchers have long known that auroras favor equinoxes, but they didn't fully understand why until NASA launched the THEMIS satellites 10 years ago. In 2007, THEMIS detected magnetic 'ropes' occasionally connecting Earth's upper atmosphere directly to the sun. Solar wind particles flow in along these ropes, providing energy for geomagnetic storms and auroras.
It turns out that rope-like magnetic connections between the sun and Earth are favored in spring and fall. It's a matter of geometry: As Earth goes around in its orbit, Earth's tilted magnetic poles make different angles with respect to the Sun, tipping back and forth with a one-year cadence. Around the time of the equinoxes, Earth's magnetic field is best oriented for "connecting-up" with the sun.
Northern spring is coming. Arctic sky watchers, enjoy the green!
© Carson Reid
"Right after I took this photo, the lights intensified and I completely stopped taking pictures," he says. "All I could do is stare. It was amazing."
Reid is a member of Earth to Sky Calculus. This week he's in Sweden with a team of 6 other students launching space weather balloons into the Arctic stratosphere. So far they've launched 3 balloons in only 5 days. One of the balloons went up at night to photograph auroras from 100,000 feet. Did it work? The payload is still being recovered from the Arctic tundra. Stay tuned for results.
Een groene uitbarsting en jawel eindelijk weer eens een zonnevlek te zien
Op dit moment zitten we in een G1 klasse zonnestorm. Deze storm is afkomstig van deeltjes die "ontsnapt zijn uit het grote coronale gat, die langzaam weer aan het "wegdraaien" is.
De snelheid is op dit moment circa 614 km/s en zorgt weer voor mooie foto's:
Het heeft even geduurd, maar er verschijnt een heuse zonnevlek! Eens afwachten wat die nog gaat produceren.
Prachtige aurora's en langzaam aan eens wat meer zonnevlekken:Geomagnetic storms are circling Earth's poles for the 2nd day in a row as a solar wind stream continues to buffet Earth's magnetic field. Today, the solar wind speed has quickened to more than 700 km/s, re-energizing storms that began on March 27th when Earth made first contact with the stream. High-latitude sky watchers should remain alert for auroras. Free:Aurora Alerts
Last night outside Fairbanks, Alaska, aurora tour guide Marketa Murray photographed a remarkable outburst of Northern Lights:
"Each of these photos is separated by only three seconds," says Murray, who also found time for a rare self-portrait.
The Alaska outburst occured during a G2-class geomagnetic storm on March 27th. At the same time, people were seeing Northern Lights in the USA as far south as Michigan, Wyoming and Minnesota.
Zonnevlek AR 2644 heeft een beta-gamma magnetisch veld, dat M klasse zonnevlammen als resultaat kan hebben.
AR 2645 produceert c klasse zonnevlammen, maar is wel actiever dan AR 2644.
De zon wordt wakkerOp 1 april (nee het is geen grap), spuwde de zon een zonnevlam M4.4 uit, op 2 april zelfs een M5.3, een M5.7 en een M2.3! Deze zonnevlammen waren afkomstig van de zonnevlek AR2644, waar ik eerder al even over heb gesproken.
Noaa acht de kans op nog meer M klasse vlammen 60% is en dat er zelfs 20% kans is op een X klasse (de zwaarste) zonnevlam.
Dit was de M4.4 van 1 april:
en hier de M5.3 en de M5.7 van gisteren:
In de pacific en de indische oceaan zijn er tenminste 3 significante kortegolf radio blackouts geweest als gevolg van deze uitbarstingen.
Waarschijnlijk zullen de cme's de aarde niet raken, maar dit is nog wat onzeker....so stay tuned
Prachtige aurora's door CIR's (corotating interaction regions)A "CIR" hit Earth's magnetic field on April 8th, and lit up the polar regions with colorful auroras. "We saw an incredible display despite the almost-full Moon," reports B.Art Braafhart of Salla in the Finnish Lapland. "A quiet green arch exploded into an amazing field with fast-moving red, green, yellow, pink, and violet."
"There was even a color I never saw before in the aurora color palette--something like beige-pink-violet," Braafhart says. "The duration of this corona explosion was only 5 minutes, but what an experience!"
CIRs (corotating interaction regions) are transition zones between fast- and slow-moving streams of solar wind. Magnetic fields from the sun pile up and intensify inside CIRs; when they reach Earth, they can connect and re-connect to our own planet's magnetic field. Magnetic reconnection is an explosive process that does a good job sparking bright auroras.
Zonnevlek AR2644 is weer terugDuring the late hours of April 17th, something hurled a plume of hot gas over the eastern limb of the sun. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory photographed the splash:
The source of this activity is probably returning sunspot AR2644. In early April the active region produced a series of M-class solar flares and shortwave radio blackouts. Now, following a two week trip around the farside of the sun, AR2644 is due to return. Amateur astronomers with solar telescopes are encouraged to monitor the sun's eastern limb for signs of the old sunspot. If it returns with any of its old potency, solar flare activity could increase sharply in the days ahead.
Zonnevlek AR2644 blijft van zich laten horen...nou ja... zienNa de M klasse zonnevlammen, produceerde hij nu een cme, deze is niet aarde gericht, maar het is toch nog mogelijk dat we wat aurora's te zien krijgen. We houden de foto's in de gaten.
© ESA/NASA Solar and Heliophysics Observatory
Na 2 weken aan de achterkant van de zon gezeten te hebben, verschijnt AR2644 weer en hij blijft actief (mogelijk weer M klasse zonnevlammen). Traditiegetrouw krijgen zonnevlekken een nieuw nummer als ze opnieuw aan "de voorkant" verschijnen. AR2644 zal verder gaan als AR2651
G2 klasse zonnestorm op komstAfkomstig van het coronale gat (zie afbeelding), zal waarschijnlijk zondag/maandag arriveren, met aurora's tot gevolg. We houden de foto's in de gaten.
A large hole in the sun's atmosphere is turning toward Earth, and it is spewing a stream of fast-moving solar wind toward our planet. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory photographed the giant fissure on April 21st:
This is a "coronal hole" (CH) -- a vast region where the sun's magnetic field opens up and allows solar wind to escape. Gaseous material flowing from this coronal hole is expected to reach our planet on April 23rd or 24th and could spark moderately-strong G2-class geomagnetic storms. NOAA forecasters say the odds of a magnetic storm is 75%.
We've seen this coronal hole before. On March 27th it lashed Earth's magnetic field with a fast-moving stream that ignited intense auroras around both of Earth's poles. The coronal hole is potent because it is spewing solar wind threaded with "negative polarity" magnetic fields. Such fields do a good job connecting to Earth's magnetosphere and energizing geomagnetic storms.
A minor solar wind stream brushed against Earth's magnetic field on June 25th. Forecasters didn't expect much--but we were wrong. A beautiful display of auroras appeared near Bassano, Alberta:
"It was a bit of a surprise," says photographer Alan Dyer. "I positioned myself at the south shore of this prairie lake to shoot what I hoped was going to be a good display of noctilucent clouds over the water. I got a nice aurora instead!"
M1.3 klasse zonnevlam. De zonnevlek is net zo breed als Jupiter
Sunspot AR2665 has grown into a behemoth almost as wide as the planet Jupiter: movie. Stretching more than 125,000 km from end to end and containing dozens of dark cores, the active region is an now easy target for backyard solar telescopes. Amateur astronomer Peter Desypris sends this July 9th photo from Syros island, Greece:
"This is the biggest sunspot of 2017 so far," says Desypris. "I photographed it using an 8'inch LX200 telescope and a safe solar filter."
On July 9th at 0318 UT the big sunspot erupted, producing an M1.3-class solar flare. Telescopes onboard NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the explosion's extreme ultraviolet flash:
A pulse of UV and X-radiation from the flare ionized the top of Earth's atmosphere. This, in turn, altered the normal propagation of shortwave radio transmissions on the dayside of our planet. A map from NOAA shows the geographical regions affected: mostly Australia and east Asia. People who might have noticed blackouts, fades, and other transmission irregularities include aviators, mariners, and ham radio operators.
Considering its extreme size, AR2665 has been relatively calm so far. Stronger flares and CMEs could be in the offing, however, as the sunspot continues to grow and turns toward Earth. Stay tuned for updates.
M2 klasse zonnevlamAfter 3 days of suspenseful quiet, huge sunspot AR2665 finally erupted on July 14th (0209 UT), producing a powerful M2-class solar flare. The explosion was underway for more than two hours and hurled a bright coronal mass ejection (CME) toward Earth. Stay tuned for updates.
A long duration M2.4 solar flare was observed around region 2665 in the southwest quadrant beginning at 01:05 UTC (July 14th). The flare was associated with a 10cm Radio Burst (TenFlare) lasting 44 minutes and measuring 130 solar flux units (SFU). A Type IV radio emission was also logged at 02:02 UTC. Updated imagery by SDO suggests a coronal mass ejection (CME) is associated.