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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?

Our Sun Has Bad Aim with Storms to the East & West | Solar Storm Forecast 09.15.2020

This week our Sun continues to fire solar storms, but with some terrible aim! One in particular that launched to the west of Earth gave us in a beautiful display in coronagraphs. The source of this storm was not visible on the Earth-facing Sun, but it likely came from the filament regions we watched cross through our field of view last week. Sadly, the bright regions that fired the other non-Earth directed solar storms have since fizzled and we are hovering at the low edge of marginal-to-poor radio propagation this week on earth’s dayside. We do have another bright region that will rotate into Earth- view in a few days, but it may only give us a slight boost in the solar flux so amateur radio operators will just have to hang in there this week. Meanwhile we also have a remnant coronal hole rotating into the Earth-strike zone over the next couple days that will send us a burst of fast wind. This should give aurora photographers at high latitudes a bit of a show, especially by mid week. Overall. though the storm is expected to be pretty mild. This is good news for GPS reception, which should be good everywhere, except possibly near the aurora. Learn the details of the near misses, catch up on aurora photos from recent solar storms, and see what else our Sun has in store this week! 

Two Snake-Like Filaments & A Solar Storm | Space Weather News 09.02.2020

This week our Sun shows more signs of the new solar cycle.Two big filaments have rotated into Earth-view and one has erupted as a solar storm! That we are seeing filaments on the Sun again is a welcome reminder that activity is ramping up. Even though the first filament launched to the East of Earth, we are watching the second filament closely because it is passing through the Earth-strike zone now and if it launches over the next couple of days, it could be an Earth-directed solar storm. Meanwhile, we are currently feeling the effects of some fast solar wind that has bumped us to storm levels multiple times and brought aurora down to mid-latitudes sporadically. Expect these conditions to continue over the next day or so before things return to quiet conditions. Learn the details of the ongoing solar storm as well as the filaments on the Sun, see how they could affect you, and find out what else our Sun has in store this week.

A Fizzle, Fast Wind, & Space Guests | Solar Storm Forecast 08.27.2020

This week our Sun quiets down from the series of solar storms and flares of last week. Although we were expecting one of the solar storms to hit Earth, it actually was near miss. The storm went just southeast of us. This was quite lucky for the recent Starlink launch because a similar storm from the same region did hit one of our upstream solar wind satellite monitors (STEREO A), and it was actually quite large! Since then the active regions that were firing the solar storms have rotated to the Sun’s farside so things have become quiet again. However, we are still managing to stay in the low 70s for solar flux so amateur radio and emergency responders can expect to hold on to marginal radio propagation this week. GPS reception should also remain good, especially on Earth’s dayside. Plus we have some more fast solar wind coming our way, which could give us a decent show of aurora at high latitudes. Learn the details of the solar storm near miss, see why it was lucky for Starlink, and find out what else our Sun has in store this week!

Flares Pick Up & A Solar Storm Heads Towards Earth | Space Weather News 08.18.2020

This week our Sun holds our attention with multiple bright regions flaring and launching solar storms. One of these solar storms is partly Earth-directed and should impact Earth late on August 19 or by midday August 20. This storm is the first “fast” solar storm of this new cycle (compared to the slower, weaker storms during solar minimum). As such it could give us our best chance of aurora views yet down to mid-latitudes! On top of that we are managing to stay in the low 70s for solar flux, despite having a spotless Sun so amateur radio operators should enjoy marginal radio propagation on Earth’s dayside over this next week. Of course radio propagation and GPS reception will be affected once the solar storm hits, but overall the boost in activity lately is a sure sign of Solar Cycle 25 really getting underway! Learn the details of the coming storm, how it will affect you, and see what else our Sun has in store this week.

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