- Older News Archive (April 2017)

April 20, 2017 @ 09:00 UTC
Surprise Storm
A high speed solar wind stream was responsible for a surprise moderate G2 geomagnetic storm very early this morning. Although a return to quieter levels is to be expected, sky watchers at higher latitudes should remain alert for visible aurora if it is still dark outside.

April 19, 2017 @ 00:50 UTC
2651 Eruption (UPDATED)
A long duration eruption around newly assigned region 2651 (old region 2644) on Tuesday hurled a coronal mass ejection (CME) into space. Because the returning region is not yet directly facing Earth, the plasma cloud was directed away from Earth. Image below courtesy of SDO/AIA.

April 18, 2017 @ 00:50 UTC
Region 2644 Returns
Old region 2644, the source of 7 M-Class solar flares earlier this month, is now beginning to turn back into view off the east limb. There will be an increased chance for minor C-Flares. We will get a better look at the region over the next 24-48 hours. It should be noted that the region will be renumbered to 2651. Image below courtesy of SDO/HMI.

April 15, 2017 @ 00:45 UTC
Coronal Hole / Storm Watch
Good evening. Coronal Hole #80 will become geoeffective after April 16th. Minor (G1) geomagnetic storm conditions will be possible once a high speed solar wind stream reaches Earth. More updates in the days ahead. Stay tuned to for the most up to date information. Image below by SDO/AIA.

April 12, 2017 @ 00:50 UTC
Farside Watch
Good evening. Solar activity on the Earth facing side of the sun remains quiet with no large sunspots currently visible. The other side of the sun however still has old friend Sunspot 2644 kicking about and appears to still be active. We will begin to see whatever remains of the active region reappear off the east limb in about 6 days or so. Also note that a large coronal hole responsible for a high speed solar wind stream and moderate geomagnetic storm in March is still present and will begin turning into view in about 3 days. Perhaps another round of excitement later this month. Image below courtesy of STEREO Ahead.

April 8, 2017 @ 00:50 UTC
Blank Again
After a week where we saw a couple of large sunspots and multiple M-Class solar flares, the Earth facing side of the sun is now void of sunspots. Solar activity is expected to be at much quieter levels over the next few days. Image courtesy of SDO/HMI.

April 4, 2017 @ 09:20 UTC
Minor Storm Observed
The Bz component of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) carried past Earth via the solar wind has been pointing south the past several hours. This was enough to generate minor (G1) storm conditions at higher latitudes. Sky watchers should be alert for visible aurora if it is still dark outside.

ALERT: Geomagnetic K-index of 5
Threshold Reached: 2017 Apr 04 0814 UTC
Synoptic Period: 0600-0900 UTC
Active Warning: Yes
NOAA Scale: G1 - Minor

April 4, 2017 @ 00:55 UTC
See you in a few weeks?
Region 2644, the source of 7 M-Class solar flares up until this point, is now turning out of view and will soon disappear behind the west limb. Unfortunately for aurora sky watchers and those of us who enjoy geomagnetic storms, all of the eruptions around the monster sunspot were directed away from our planet. The solar rotation will bring the region back into view beginning in approximately 14 days from now. We will all have to wait and see what remains of 2644 at that point. Another moderate to strong solar flare is still possible during the next 24 hours before turning away from Earth. Image below courtesy of SDO/HMI.

Note: The strongest flare around 2644 up until this point was an M5.8 event at 14:29 UTC (April 3).

April 2, 2017 @ 21:05 UTC
Big Sunspots / M5.7 Flare (UPDATED)
A pair of large sunspots numbered 2644 and 2645 continue to transit the solar disk and pose a threat for moderate to strong solar flares. Region 2644 in particular has been the most potent thus far, producing three M-Class solar flares (M4.4, M5.3 and M2.3) within the past 24 hours. Region 2645 has produced minor C-Flares and will also be a threat for M-Flares. Because of the location of 2644, none of the eruptions have been directed towards our planet. It should be noted that there is now a 20% chance for a major X-Flare according to the Space Weather Prediction Center. Stay tuned to for the most up to date information. Attached image below courtesy of SDO/HMI.

UPDATE: Solar activity remains high with another moderately strong solar flare detected, this time an impulsive M5.7 event observed around 2644 at 20:33 UTC. Perhaps an X-Flare next?

April 2, 2017 @ 09:10 UTC
2644 Flares Again
Here we go again. Region 2644 just produced a moderately strong M5.3 solar flare peaking at 08:02 UTC Sunday morning. A Type II radio emission with an estimated velocity of 628 km/s was associated with this event. Just like with the previous M4.4 event, an Earth directed coronal mass ejection (CME) is unlikely. Additional flaring will be possible. Image below courtesy of SDO/AIA.

April 2, 2017 @ 00:15 UTC
M-Flare and CME (UPDATED)
It's been a while, but we finally have a noteworthy solar flare to report. An M4.4 solar flare was just observed around region 2644 in the northwest quadrant at 21:48 UTC (Apr 1) and may be associated with a coronal mass ejection (CME). The region is no longer in the best position however for Earth directed eruptions. More details to follow. Image below courtesy of SDO/AIA. Click HERE for a video of the flare.

UPDATE: A bright coronal mass ejection (CME) is now visible in the latest coronagraph imagery courtesy of LASCO. So far the plasma cloud appears to be headed to the northwest and away from our planet. A noteworthy impact to our geomagnetic field is not currently expected. More to follow if necessary.

Coronal Mass Ejection - LASCO C2