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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.

Three Bright Regions & A Storm Generator | Solar Storm Forecast 08.10.2020

This week our Sun brings on the brightness with three bright regions in Earth view. One of these, region 2770 is the largest new cycle sunspot we have seen in the northern hemisphere yet! It has also fired a C-class flare, along with a bunch f mini-flares. All of this activity is boosting the solar flux up into the mid-70s. With the additional regions on the Sun’s farside rotating into view soon, we might see the solar flux move higher than its been in several years! On top of that, one of the farside regions is also a solar storm generator so we might get a chance for another solar storm as well over the next few weeks. Learn the details of these new regions, catch up on the remaining aurora photos I promised to show with Comet Neowise shooting through aurora-filled skies during our last solar storm, and see what else our Sun has in store!

Two New Bright Regions & A Return to Mars | Space Weather News 07.30.2020

This week our Sun gives us a bit of a reprieve when it comes to solar storms. We have a coronal hole in the north, near center disk, but it wont rotate into the Earth-strike zone until next week. This means the solar wind will remain quiet and slow over the next few days so aurora photographers can take a well-deserved breather! However, amateur and emergency radio operators should be smiling this week as we now have two sunspots in Earth view that are boosting the solar flux back into the mid-70s! Along with a few more bright regions that will rotate into view over this next week, radio operators should enjoy better propagation on Earth’s dayside easily over this week and likely in through next as well. Finally, GPS users should also enjoy some decent reception even on Earth’s nightside, thanks to the quiet conditions. Get the details on the new sunspots rotating into view this week and return to Mars with me as we look back at the dust storm that took the life of Opportunity rover, learn why its so important to monitor the weather there, and take a look at the current weather conditions on the Red Planet.

A Solar Storm, A Fast Wind Chaser & NEOWISE Blows Us Away | Solar Storm Forecast 07.24.2020

This week our Sun sends us a partially Earth-directed solar storm, which will be followed by a fast wind chaser. (As you can tell from the video, the storm began to hit during the production!) Although not as strong as the storm we had last week, this one should still give decent aurora views at high latitudes, with sporadic views at mid-latitudes as well. In fact, we are already getting field reports showing aurora as far south as Manitoba, Canada! This storm should be followed by some fast solar wind that will likely enhance the effects and lengthen the period of storming over the next several days. Several active regions from the new solar cycle are also rotating into Earth view. One is already visible and is boosting the solar flux back into the marginal range for radio propagation. The other will rotate into view in the next few days will boost solar flux even more– possibly into the mid-70s by mid-next week! This is great news for emergency and amateur radio operators, who could use a lift in radio propagation on Earth’s day side. Learn the details of the solar storm, catch up on stunning storm photos with NEOWISE sailing in aurora filled skies, and see what else our Sun has in store this week!

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