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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:32 pm 
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The Aurora isn't something I've seen in a while. Perhaps a family vacation this summer can set that right.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 5:11 pm 
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You may be hearing breathless reports of a "Geomagnetic Storm." Or not.

It's caused by aligned coronal holes, not a flare. We reached the G1 (K=5) threshold Friday afternoon. The only major effect I can find is that radio propagation is beyond putrid. It's abysmal. It's about as bad as you can get without actually having a solar flare to X-ray the ionosphere. In other words, the crappy parts without the fun parts.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:38 pm 
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Some good news,

and some bad news.

Good news first: There has NOT been a catastrophic solar flare and CME. There will not be any of that stuff the media are on about.

Bad news second: The dandy M6.5 flare last night from Active Region 1719 did create a number of effects we haven't heard about in a while. For the data junkies, these include:


10cm Radio Burst
Peak Flux: 470 sfu

Type II Radio Emission
Description: Type II emissions occur in association with eruptions on the sun and typically indicate a coronal mass ejection associated with a flare.

Type IV Radio Emission
Type IV emissions occur in association with major eruptions on the sun and are typically associated with strong coronal mass ejections and solar radiation storms.

Radio blackouts reaching the R2 level occurred.

10MeV Integral Flux exceeded 10pfu
NOAA Scale: S1 - Minor
Solar radiation storms reaching the S1 level occurred.
Potential Impacts: Radio - Minor impacts on polar HF (high frequency) radio propagation resulting in fades at lower frequencies.
(While not a spectacular proton storm, it looks pretty nice on the charts, because that data stream had been so low before. Real nice boink. -Z)

A bright full-halo Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) is visible within the new Lasco imagery. It appears that a bulk of the plasma is directed towards the east, however there also appears to be a fair sized Earth directed component.

So there.

Now, CMEs often drop the other shoe in a couple of days, and this one looks partially geoeffective, so the malady lingers on.

The sun in general has gotten a lot more active in the past 3 weeks, and by a lot we mean stuff like uncorrected 2600 MHz solar flux going from 90 (pitiful) to 148 (healthy), as a whole lot of energetic new regions rotated onto the Earth facing side. We'll have to wait and see if this is the beginning of the second Cycle 24 peak that many theories have predicted.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:35 pm 
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Confirmed likely G2 and maybe G3 level storming this weekend. That's of interest mostly to aurora watchers and people in high latitudes who might want to watch out for ground currents.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 8:23 pm 
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Storm Sudden Commencement at 2257 UTC this afternoon U.S. time. Classic boink in the magnetic field followed by fluctuation around a different level than where it had been. Refers to the Earth's magnetic field shifting in the increased solar wind caused by the CME. Suggests a good night for looking at aurora, otherwise it wasn't all that big a boink. We might get to G2 and K indices in the 6 range. No big thang.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 3:00 pm 
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Magnetic storm weenied out. The dreaded Bz never turned southward, and the planetary K index never reached storm threshold. It was a total non-happening.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 3:10 pm 
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Active region 1726 is worth watching. It didn't exist a few days ago, now 12x the size of the Earth and magnetically complex, meaning it's storing a lot of energy. Accordingly, the possibility of an M-class flare has been bumped slightly up, to 10%. Possibility of X-class flares, the only ones worth really getting in a wad about, remains only 5%.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:17 pm 
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Active region 1726 has lived up to its billing, kicking out small flares of no consequence except to make some nice videos of the sun's surface. Chance of an M-class flare remains 40% after a small M1.0 this morning (US time). Chance of an X-class flare has been bumped to 15%. In other words, 1726 is putting on a nice show for us, but it's a show that's about to get on the road, seeing as the region is rotating toward the west limb.

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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 8:44 pm 
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Things have really heated up. It starts to look like a real solar peak around here. Most of the fireworks are from new regions rotating into position, so the show should go on. So far biggest flare is M1 point something, and there have also been a couple of radio blackouts. A lot of the grunge around though comes from coronal holes, not flares.

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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 12:13 pm 
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X2.7 Flare in progress NOW!

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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 12:26 pm 
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Image

SolarHam:

Quote:
Updated 05/13/2013 @ 16:05 UTC

Another X=Class Solar Flare

A major X-Class solar flare currently at X2.7 is currently in progress. Another Strong Radio Blackout is taking place on the sunlit side of Earth. Stay Tuned.


You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. In this case, all you need is a radio. HF is GONE in North America. Low VHF skip is GONE in North America. There's two guys transmitting on CB (local) and they don't know what hit them.

These blackouts aka Sudden Ionospheric Disturbances are rated by duration so we don't know yet. Likely R3.

CME type effects should be only minimally geoeffective. The flare is on the limb and it's the second X level event in the last day. X2.7 is estimated but if it holds up it's one of the 5 or so biggest of the anemic Cycle 24.

Due to location this event is all UV and X-ray. We'll see more when the region rotates onto the visible disk. VERY bright flare in the EUV for sure.

Lucky the astronauts weren't out in the Soyuz capsule yet. That's not until 1930 UTC.

WWV just came back, sort of, on 10 MHz, so the blackout is starting to lift. We shall see.

Bottom line is that I'd be more afraid of idiots with guns than this size solar flare. Panic time is more like X15.

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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 12:38 pm 
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Noise levels have increased across the band (much noise is propagated), and ionospheric sounders have started popping up 9-19 MHz. Still pretty disturbed.

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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 1:15 pm 
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X2.7 Flare in progress NOW!


Panic time? :)

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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 1:32 pm 
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LOL at the funny pictures.

I'd be more inclined to panic about losing our democracy, or the middle class being pushed down into the post modern version of serfdom.

The sun still hasn't shown me anything dangerous as opposed to noteworthy, unless you're in some unshielded location in space, which nobody was. The radio blackouts are caused by the ionosphere absorbing X-ray and EUV energy, which therefore doesn't reach the surface in any significant amount.

There is a hazard to satellites in high orbits, but you really need a bigger flare for that.

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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 12:33 pm 
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Emerging region 1748 is still at it as it rotates into geoeffective position.

Latest flare was last night (~0105 UTC). It came in at X3.2 and sent the media into a feeding frenzy.

Here's how worked up the media are about all this:

=====================================

Here's how worked up people need to be:

==

And that's only because this cycle has been so weak that it's fun to see anything resembling a real solar peak.

The SOHO coronagraph pictures look like the sun is blowing up. The sun is not blowing up. A region around a complex sunspot group is blowing up. The H-alpha is fun, with some serious magnetic thrashing and plasma ejecting and recapturing around the flares. Were the earth a few thousand miles from all this, it would vaporize. Of course it would already be toast for being too near the sun. The earth is 93,000,000 miles from the sun and shielded by ionized gas around a magnetic field.

I would imagine we had another R2-3 level radio fadeout last night, but fortunately some of North America was already in the dark. This morning d-region absorption looks fairly normal for this time of year. (It's already pretty grungy, especially in the morning. Excellent band conditions exist from here to the Pacific... still early there...)

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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 1:36 pm 
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Region 1748 has now rotated completely into Earth view. One can see its complexity, but also that it's looking a bit tired after four x-class flares in a few days.

Today's story is proton flux, which sounds scarier than it is. It's an S1 level event, as in WEENIE. The major effect is increased radio signal absorption at the poles. This used to cause major errors in low-frequency navigation systems, but it's all GPS now and has a different set of solar problems.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 7:46 pm 
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We're still in a solar peak, just you wouldn't know it from the visible face of the sun, which has been downright peaceful. This will change, because the other side is very active, and the sun rotates.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 1:02 pm 
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Several active regions have rotated into view, and while these are good for your occasional C class flare, the science people don't expect anything of consequence.

The big story is a humongous coronal hole that opened up on what we see as the northwest part of the solar disk. This thing is expected to cause some aurora and general fun sometime later this week, with possible deterioration in radio conditions just in time for the midsummer rite also known as Field Day.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:57 pm 
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Solar activity picked up right on schedule. By all reports, Field Day conditions were putrid for this point in a solar cycle. We have solar proton storming of S1 level, no cause for concern, and the dreaded Bz has been southward for days. Similar with radio blackouts, only R1, but since it's summer, you don't need much to send the ionosphere off on vacation.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:37 pm 
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The coronal hole is now fully geoeffective, and capable of causing weak magnetic storming/ aurora. Visual aurora will obviously look better in the other hemisphere, where the nights are much longer right now.

If you hear about a "magnetic storm" in the news, it's probably from the coronal hole. Probability of major flares remains low.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:28 pm 
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Bunch of CMEs now. None especially consequential, but along with the coronal hole, it'll all keep Bz south and things bouncing around. No big thang unless you live in the polar regions.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 1:04 pm 
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Active region 1787 coming off the east limb bears watching, though I realize that every time I say this, the region poos out.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:52 pm 
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We have missed the significance all along:
That must be why Romney put on the fake tan for his Univision gig - he was worried about solar flares!!!


Its going to get nasty if he ever speaks to the NAACP!

And I thought I was funny! Now that's funny!

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 1:35 pm 
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:rofl:

Minor (G1) storming on and off for the past few days. CMEs, but not from large flares. The dreaded Bz is pretty consistently south.

There are photos of aurora in Michigan. In the summer. Wow.

Apparently Southern Lights have been all time in New Zealand, where it's winter.

Major detectable effect is to really trash short wave radio propagation, which is bad enough in the Northern Hemisphere summer as it is.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 1:06 pm 
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Periodic G1 storming continues. Kp is flirting with the threshold right now, and a CME is expected any minute now. All this means is more absolutely all time aurora. I don't know if digital cameras are helping people get better time exposures, or it's really the best ever, but either way it's awesome. This pussy little excuse for a cycle is good for something.

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