X-flare yesterday, aurora alert this weekend


View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Brian Ottum (astrotopicsdaily on Instagram) instructed EarthSky: “I’ve been looking at the sun for 46 years and have never seen anything like these brilliant white snakes on the surface of the sun! It’s an X-class solar flare, a major event that could possibly cause planet-wide radio blackouts and long-lasting radiation storms. To my eye, it looked like the surface cracked open to reveal the blindingly white hot interior. We should expect some northern lights, so pay attention.” Thank you, Brian! What an superior catch. An aurora alert has been issued for this weekend.

Aurora alert!

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Space Weather Prediction Center has issued a 48-hour magnetic storm watch. By U.S. clocks, the watch started late within the day on October 28, 2021, following an X-flare from a solar energetic area (AR2887) that passed off at 15:35 UTC. The blast created an enormous wave of plasma that rippled throughout the sun’s disk. SpaceWeather.com said a robust G3-class geomagnetic storm is feasible on October 30 (that is likely to be Saturday morning, October 30). That’s when the coronal mass ejection (CME) from yesterday’s X1 flare ought to start putting Earth’s magnetic discipline. SpaceWeather mentioned:

Such storms can spark auroras seen to the unaided eye as far south as Illinois and Oregon (usually 50 levels geomagnetic latitude) and photographic auroras at even decrease latitudes. Lesser G1 and G2-class storms might persist by Halloween as Earth passes by the CME’s wake.

 The 2022 lunar calendars are here. Order yours before they’re gone!

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Sun is obscured by a disk. White clouds and tiny streaks billow outward from the hidden sun.
A coronal mass ejection (CME) launched into space on October 28, 2021, by exploding sunspot AR2887 is heading nearly straight for Earth. SOHO coronagraphs recorded the CME racing away from the sun quicker than 1260 km/s (2.8 million mph). Image and caption by way of SpaceWeather.com.

So begin watching at dusk Friday night, October 29, and watch all through the evening and thru the weekend!

Solar Cycle 25 is heating up!

Check SpaceWeather.com for the latest on the incoming CME and auroras

Speckly yellow ground with dark spots ringed with orange.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Michael Teoh at Heng Ee Observatory in Penang, Malaysia, caught AR2887 on October 28, 2021, shortly earlier than it produced its X-flare. Michael wrote: “Transparency was not great with a thin layer of high clouds, but given that the sunspot AR2887 is transiting today, I decided to give it a try, and the seeing was surprisingly good.” Nice catch, Michael! Thanks for posting.

Bottom line: Aurora alert. Possible good shows of the aurora borealis starting the night of October 29, 2021, and lasting by the weekend.

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