A Mini Solar Storm with a Fast Wind Chaser | Space Weather News 02.20.2020

This week our Sun gives us a surprise boost in activity as a weak solar storm conspires with some fast solar wind and bumps us up to solar storm conditions for a short while. Aurora photographers have been reporting aurora visible in the upper mid-latitudes and high latitude watchers have been greeted by some dazzling shows. With more fast solar wind on the way, high-latitudes could continue having active aurora in through the weekend. As for radio communications, the sun remains spotless so we are remaining at the low end of marginal for radio propagation. Solar flux will likely hold steady in the low 70s over this next week. At least GPS users should enjoy decent GPS reception on Earth’s dayside, but nightside reception might suffer, especially near aurora and near dawn and dusk. Learn the details of the ongoing solar storm, where and when aurora is visible, and what else our Sun has in store this week.

One Storm Down, One to Go | Solar Storm Forecast 02.05.2020

Space Weather has been calming down over the past few days since a solar storm hit Earth at the turn of the month. However, more fast solar wind is coming, which could give us another chance for aurora at high latitudes into the weekend, with views possibly extending down to mid-latitudes for a short while. Although sunspot 2757 has now rotated to the Sun’s farside, we do have two new bright regions rotating into Earth-view on the Sun’s east limb. These regions are helping to keep radio propagation on Earth’s dayside in the marginal range. Expect solar flux to remain in the low 70s this week. GPS users should continue to enjoy good GPS reception on Earth’s dayside thanks to a spotless Sun, but on Earth’s nightside, GPS reception could get a little dicey near dawn and dusk, and anywhere near aurora once the solar storm hits. Learn the details of the coming fast solar wind, catch up on aurora photos from the recent storm, and see what else our Sun has in store!

A Bright Region Pair & An Earth-Directed Solar Storm | Space Weather News 01.27.2020

This week space weather started out quietly, but got exciting fast. We have two bright regions that have emerged on the Sun. One is a cycle 24 (old cycle) sunspot that has fired an Earth-directed solar storm! The second is a cycle 25 bright region that is helping to boost the solar flux back into the mid-70s. This means radio propagation on Earth’s dayside gets a nice boost. We also have a good chance for aurora at high latitudes (and possibly even mid-latitudes) starting on January 29. Learn the details of this coming solar storm, how GPS reception and radio communication will fare this week, and see what else our Sun has in store.

Multiple Storms Launch & Martian Ice Mining: Solar Storm Forecast 01-22-2020

This week our Sun shows more signs of life by firing multiple solar storms in the past few days. Several of these have been Earth-directed, and although small, they are nonetheless a welcome sight. Along with some fast solar wind from a coronal hole hitting Earth now, these mini-storms are causing some brilliant displays of aurora at high latitudes. In addition, our Sun continues to keep the solar flux in the low 70s, which means we are remaining in the marginal range for radio propagation on Earth’s dayside. See the details of the storming this week including how it will affect GPS reception and radio communications, and in a special segment on Mars, learn how a recent scientific study on Martian ice-mining impacts planned landing sites for the first human mission to the Red Planet.

Satellites Charge as Fast Solar Wind Approaches | Space Weather News 01.13.2020

This week our Sun returns to spotless, but not before it gave us yet another new cycle sunspot, region 2756. That region has since rotated behind the Sun’s west limb, however, we still have several bright regions in Earth view so the solar flux remains in the marginal range for radio propagation. On top of this we have a small coronal hole that will be rotating through the Earth-strike zone over the next few days and sending us some fast wind. This could bring us some aurora views, possibly down to mid-latitudes briefly. Aurora views at high latitudes should last until the weekend. Since we recently had a weak solar storm hit, this means the near-Earth environment is a bit wound-up so satellites and other space traffic in and near GEO orbits have a slightly elevated risk of surface charging over the next few days. Learn the details of the coming fast solar wind, including how it will affect you, and see what else our Sun has in store!

An Earth-Directed Solar Storm & A Holy Grail | Space Weather News 01.08.2020

This week our Sun shakes things up by launching its first solar storm of the year. Considering we are still waiting for Solar Cycle 25 to arrive officially, this solar storm launch is a welcome surprise. Along with a small pocket of fast solar wind expected to arrive near coincident with the solar storm in a few days, aurora photographers might be able to catch glimpses of the aurora even down to mid latitudes for a short while. In addition to the solar storm, we have yet another solar cycle 25 sunspot in Earth-view. These sightings are becoming more the norm than the exception, which means we could see flare activity pick up again over the next few months. As it is, solar flux is creeping up to the mid-70s, with radio propagation back well into the marginal range on Earth’s dayside. GPS users should also be enjoying decent GPS/GNSS reception early in the week, but should stay away from nightside aurora and from the dawn-dusk regions, especially once the solar storm hits. learn the details of the coming solar storm, see where and when aurora might be visible, and find out what else our Sun has in store. This week also has a special deep dive into the Parker Solar Probe discovery of magnetic switchbacks in the solar wind and what it means in terms of finding the holy grail of solar physics.

A Fleeting Sunspot & A Familiar Hole | Space Weather News 12-19-2019

This week our Sun’s activity picks up a little bit. We have a small coronal hole that is rotating through the Earth-strike zone and the fast wind it is sending us is causing aurora at high latitudes. Although we have seen this coronal hole before, it is closing so the fast wind is much weaker this time around. Expect unsettled conditions over the next few days and aurora that will likely stay confined to high latitudes. In addition to the fast solar wind, we are also seeing another solar cycle 25 bright region rotating into Earth-view on the Sun’s east limb. This region has briefly emerged strongly enough to become a sunspot, but it likely wont last long enough to get an official number designation before it disappears below the Sun’s surface again. Nonetheless, it is yet another indicator of the new cycle that is nearly here! Learn details of the current fast wind hitting Earth, how the new bright region is affecting radio propagation as well as GPS reception on Earth’s dayside, and see what else our Sun has in store!

A Coronal Hole in the Strike Zone & A Meteor Explodes Over Wisconsin | Space Weather News 11.28.2019

Happy Thanksgiving! Space Weather remains unsettled this week as we have some more fast solar wind from a southern hemisphere coronal hole hitting Earth in the next day or so. Although this fast wind will be pretty weak overall, it should keep us at unsettled conditions through the weekend. It will also bring aurora shows to high latitudes in through the weekend before settling down. Although the aurora never made it very far south during the previous solar storm last week, we do have the Unicorn meteor shower to thank for the bolide that exploded over southern Wisconsin a few days ago. As reports continue to surface, it turns out that this bolide was seen by many people over a large geographical range. Though most sightings were in Wisconsin, there have been multiple reports in places like California, South Dakota, and Ontario Canada! Learn the details of the coming fast solar wind, watch the new cycle 25 bright region peek up through the coronal hole and boost solar flux back into the marginal range for radio propagation, and see what else our Sun has in store for us!

Fast Wind Storms & Europa Plumes | Solar Storm Forecast 11.21.2019

This week we finally have some good news for aurora photographers! A coronal hole that has brought us up to storm levels multiple times before is back and is sending us some fast solar wind yet again! We have already bumped up to unsettled conditions and could hit active conditions within the next 24 hours. Aurora field reporters, especially at high latitudes should be on the alert for aurora. We could even get some sporadic aurora at mid-latitudes over the next day or so. As for the Sun, unfortunately, we are back to spotless conditions with solar flux tanking back into the high 60s. This means poor radio propagation on Earth’s dayside for next next week or more. GPS users, however, should be smiling since GPS reception on Earth’s dayside should remain pretty decent overall. Learn the details of the coming solar storm and see a special segment I’ve included this week on newly confirmed water plumes on Jupiter’s moon Europa!

Solar Cycle 25 Stirs & Mercury Crosses the Sun | Space Weather News 11.07.2019

This week the action is all about the Sun! Not only have we had several bright regions grace the Sun’s face this past week, but one of them was a sunspot from the upcoming Solar Cycle 25. This sunspot (2750) even fired off a few low-level solar flares before receding beneath the Sun’s surface. In addition, we may have yet another Solar Cycle 25 bright region on the Sun’s farside as seen by STEREO. However, it will be a few days before this region rotates into Earth-view so we will just have to wait until we can take a closer look. Meanwhile, on November 11, we will have yet another treat passing across the Sun’s face and that is the rare transit of Mercury! This passage will coincide with some fast solar wind hitting Earth, so field reporters at high latitudes might be enjoying Mercury’s transit by day and an aurora show at night! Learn more about the transit of Mercury like when and where you can watch it, what these new bright regions are all about, and see what else our Sun has in store this week.

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