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A Snake-Like Filament, A Solar Storm, & A Serene Red Planet | Space Weather News 02.14.2021

Our Sun wakes up a bit this week to bring us some gorgeous eye-candy in the shape of a snake! A huge filament, that almost stretches across the entire Earth-facing Sun is snaking through the Earth-strike zone now. If it erupts, not only will it give us a gorgeous spectacle, but it will launch an Earth-directed solar storm. Needless to say, we are watching it very closely. In addition, we have some fast solar wind from two coronal holes that is hitting Earth now. This fast wind has already brought us up to active conditions over the past several days and may easily do so again. Aurora photographers, especially at high latitudes should be in for a nice show over the next several days. Our Sun has also launched a solar storm to the west of Earth, but it may graze us sometime around mid-week. If that happens, it will enhance the effect of the fast solar wind and possibly bring aurora down to mid-latitudes. Definitely a lot happening in terms of solar storms this week! As for amateur radio operators, the solar flux continues to remain in the low 70s, which means marginal radio propagation on earth’s dayside. There are a few bright regions in STEREO’s view, which means solar flux might boost a little to the mid-70s over this week, but expect marginal propagation conditions to continue throughout the week. At least this low solar flux and lack of sunspots means GPS reception on Earth-‘s dayside is good, even if the solar storming might disrupt reception near dawn and dusk and near aurora on Earth’s nightside. Learn the details of this week’s activity and check in with the weather at Mars as we prepare for the landing of Mars2020 with Perseverance Rover and Helicopter Ingenuity on February 18.

Fast Solar Wind Coming in Waves | Solar Storm Forecast 02.04.2021

This week fast solar wind comes in waves as we have multiple coronal holes rotating through the Earth-strike zone. The first coronal hole is sending us fast wind now and the next will send us a second wave in through the weekend. This means high latitudes will experience some decent aurora shows through week’s end and even mid-latitudes will get some fleeting chances. Sadly, the single sunspot on the Earth-facing disk is rotating to the Sun’s farside now and solar flux will likely drop into the low 70s. However, we should be able to hang on to marginal radio propagation on Earth’s dayside over the course of this week. GPS users should also enjoy good reception on Earth’s dayside, but GPS reception on earth’s nightside, especially near dawn or dusk and near aurora will be impacted. Learn the details of these waves of fast solar wind, how the SOHO/LASCO instrument is being impacted due to terrestrial weather and maintenance, and see what else our Sun has in store!

Solar Storm Graze & Red Planet Rendezvous | Space Weather News 01.10.2021

Happy New Year everyone. Our Sun is slowly coming back from being on Holiday since the big solar storms of about a month ago. It has returned to being spotless, but at least we are still getting some activity. We’ve had two solar storms launch that are nearly Earth-directed and they could graze us sometime on the 11th or 12th, just enough to enhance the pocket of fast solar wind we are expecting at that time as well. This could bring aurora down to high-latitudes and possibly to mid-latitudes momentarily. We also are holding on to marginal radio propagation on Earth’s dayside thanks to a small bright region emerging on the Earth facing disk. That region will be named region 2796 (incidentally I say the wrong number in the forecast, I know) if it grows into a sunspot so we are watching it carefully. Nonetheless the region is keeping solar flux in the mid-70s so we should enjoy marginal radio propagation conditions easily throughout this week. Learn the details of the solar storms en route, catch up on the latest conditions on the Red Planet as we prepare for the Mars 2020 rendezvous, and see what else our Sun has in store!

Solar Flux and Fast Wind Boost for the Holidays | Solar Storm Forecast 12.24.2020

This week our Sun gives us some night gifts for the holidays. First we have an extended pocket of fast solar wind that has already brought aurora down to the UK and upper tier of the USA sporadically. It has also sparked some nice storm-time colors at high latitudes! Luckily, this fast solar wind should continue over the next few days through the weekend before it begins to calm down. So, aurora photographers, there is still time to catch some nice shows, especially at high latitudes.(We also have another smaller chance for aurora coming in about a week!) In addition, we also have solar flux getting a boost this week thanks to two new sunspots rotating into Earth-view. This means we are nearly back into the good range for radio propagation on Earth’s dayside. Along with more new regions that will rotate into view over the next week, means we should see radio propagation continue to be pretty decent as we roll into the new year. Learn the details of the ongoing solar storming, catch up on gorgeous aurora shots from the continued fast solar wind, and see what else our Sun has in store this week!

Solar Flux Hits New High & Big Flares Possible Now | Space Weather News 11.26.2020

Our Sun goes through a paradigm shift this week as solar flux tops 100 for the first time in several years! We also have more numbered bright regions on the Earth-facing disk than we’ve seen in a long time, with even more bright regions on the Sun’s farside about to rotate into view. This means amateur radio operators are going to be enjoying GOOD radio propagation on Earth’s dayside easily through this week and possibly from now on as we climb to solar maximum over the next few years. Many of these bright regions are also firing solar flares and solar storms, including one region on the Sun’s farside that fired the first full-halso solar storm of this new solar cycle. This full-halo solar storm launch means our Sun is once again capable of launching the massive solar storms capable of creating real impacts here at Earth. In addition, it means the risk of big solar flares is now back on the table along with the possibility of solar radiation storms. So while there is not an Earth-directed solar storm this week, only some fast solar wind that will likely continue to bring aurora to high latitudes, we do have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season. Our Sun is finally and fully awake! Learn the details of this solar awakening, watch the full-halo solar storm launch, and see what else our Sun has in store!

Activity Ups with Storms, Flares & Fast Wind | Solar Storm Forecast 11.14.2020

This week our Sun continues its upward journey of activity with several new bright regions in Earth view and more on the Sun’s farside. We are seeing solar flux continue to rise along with an increase in C-class flares. This is good news for amateur radio operators and emergency responders as radio propagation on Earth’s dayside is continuing to improve. Of course, the flares mean a little radio noise as well, but it should be pretty mild overall. So, no worries, the SpaceX launch this weekend should not have any communication issues! However, these regions are also continuing to launch solar storms, especially region 2782, and as this region rotates into the Earth-strike zone we will watch closely for any Earth-directed activity. Aurora photographers at high latitudes have a small burst of fast solar wind to look forward that could bring aurora but it will be reasonably fleeting. At least this means GPS users will not be severely impacted this week. Learn more about the growing sunspot activity, catch up on aurora photos from recent solar storms, and see what else our Sun has in store!s week.

A Snake-like Filament Erupts while a Solar Storm Rages | Space Weather News 10.26.2020

This week our Sun continues its upward climb in activity with multiple new bright regions on the Earth-facing disk, including a new sunspot region (region 2778). On top of this we finally had that massive snake-like filament that we first saw in STEREO-A’s view on the far side of the Sun launch as a non-Earth directed solar storm. Plus, we are also in the middle of a solar storm due to the fast wind from the northern coronal hole. This storm, which will likely rage for a few more days before settling down, has already brought aurora down to mid-latitudes, and there is a good chance more is to come! Learn the details of the current storm conditions, see where that snake-like filament launch is headed, watch region 2778 emerge and learn what else our Sun has in store this week.

A Spectacular Solar Flare Fire Plume & New Bright Regions | Space Weather News 10.18.2020

Our Sun is definitely waking up with eye-candy to boot! We went from a spotless Sun just last week to multiple bright regions on the Earth-facing disk, including two sunspots in Earth view (and possibly another if you count the big region on the Sun’s farside). These regions have not only boosted the solar flux into the mid-70s, but they are also firing off B and C-class solar flares. One of these flares, which occurred just slightly behind the Sun’s west limb resulted in the most spectacular fire plume we have seen yet in this new cycle. Likely this flare was larger than we saw at Earth because the Sun partially blocked it from view.Even at a C5-level, it still gave us a gorgeous show. Aurora photographers will appreciate the fact we have a coronal hole that will rotate into the Earth-strike zone later this week. This will begin an extended period of fast solar wind from several coronal holes, including a polar coronal hole we have seen before. Last month the fast solar wind from these coronal holes brought us up to G2-storm levels. We will see if this will be a repeat performance. If so, we expect the peak of the storm to be sometime around October 25. Finally, the farside of the Sun is almost as dazzling as the front side. We have a stunning filament bridge dangling over a big bright region on the Sun’s east limb in STEREO’s view. It is hard to tell if this filament can hang on until it rotates into Earth view before about these active regions, how radio propagation and GPS reception is faring with all this new activity, and see what else our Sun has in store!

A Bright Region Leaves & Solar Storm Wanes with a Mini-Storm Kiss | Solar Storm Forecast 10.06.2020

This week we are settling down from an extended period of solar storming, but not before we get one last little kiss from our Sun. After reaching G2 storm levels last week from some fast solar wind, we have been slowly quieting down, but then over this past day, a mini-solar storm has hit from a stealthy storm launch. Since Earth’s magnetic shield has been so rattled recently, this mini-storm has bumped us back up to active conditions. So this means we could get more sporadic aurora over the next day or so, especially at high latitudes. On top of that, this mini-storm may cause additional issues for satellite operators in GEO as the high energy fluxes with build up again in the wake of this mini-storm. Radio operators and GPS users will appreciate the ending of the recent storming, but with bright region 2773 rotating to the Sun’s farside, this means solar flux is returning to the low 70s, bringing with it poor radio propagation on Earth’s dayside. Sadly, these conditions will likely last for another week or more, as we do not yet see any bright regions on the Sun’s farside that will rotate into view over this next week. However, GPS users will appreciate the low flux as it means GPS reception will improve even at low latitudes. Learn the details of the recent solar storming, catch up on aurora photos over this past week, and see what else our Sun has in store!

A Coronal Hole, A Bright Region & A Red Planet | Space Weather News 09.21.2020

Space Weather makes us watch with bated breath this week as a big bright region rotates into earth-view from the Sun’s farside. This region might be large enough to be a sunspot, but we will need to wait a few more days in order to tell. either way, the region is already beginning to boost solar flux into the low 70s so amateur radio operators and emergency responders should notice propagation improve on earth’s dayside over the course of the week. We also have a coronal hole rotating into the Earth-strike zone that will send us some fast solar wind over the next few days. This should bring aurora views to high latitudes, but likely mid-latitude observers will only get a fleeting show. Learn the details of the coming fast wind and bright region, and catch up on the local weather at the Red Planet near the locations of our Martian colonists, Curiosity and Insight. Want early access to these forecasts, tutorials on Space Weather, & more?

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