Was Last Night The Big Show or Is More To Come?

Few of you braved the cold last night to get out there and get some auroras. We were seeing some great shots in group today. If you would like your image with credits on website, then please email me them with your information of where you where, times and your experience and I will a post with break down of the storm with your stories Before we get into the forecast I want you take a moment and watch this YouTube video. I want you in particular to note his comparison of the sun a year ago to where we are today. Understanding the difference between the two will help the forecasts make a little more sense.

Question everyone wants to know was this “the” storm? There are some recent developments that lead me to think we have more to come this week. Between 2pm and 3pm this afternoon we did experience a CME and it has disrupted Magnetic field lines and PHI angle is already flipping in response. It was relatively quick, with a fairly wide spread to expulsion. Unfortunately not earth directed.

Southern incoming Region that just produced CME

From the above view of the incoming southern hemisphere, you will see the actual CME take off from that region. Now this doesn’t look very large but when view in the NASA WSA-Enlil it was fast moving winds and was large enough to disrupt magnetic field lines. While to far back on incoming limb to make a direct impact it should give us boost winds a bit from the residual winds spreading from the expulsion to what we already have coming from the two coronal holes. This is time to watch for that scoop shovel event where the fast winds catch up with slower winds and give them a good shove. Directly opposite from this spot on the outgoing limb on the Northern Hemisphere is this region shown below, Here you can watch the tornados dance in this area. Note how the plasma fountains out and down back to suns surface. This is producing some wind and some ejecta seems to be leaving surface of the sun.

Northern Hemisphere on outgoing limb there are several tornados fountaining plasma

The region I think of most interest will be the 2816 sunspot region because it is far more complex This is coming into earth facing in the next few days and has shown growth. It also is likely magnetically linked to incoming spot behind it as both have shown snapping in answer of each other. Over the last three days we have seen all the different regions becoming more active, like the sun is just gearing up to give a good blast. I think very likely we have something to come. I am at this point thinking KP3 to Kp5 range unless we get more events that push this even further. I would look for the push to solar winds to happen in the next 12 to 36 hours. Might last longer if more regions get active and we have more events. The large outgoing region could still brush is with impact if it pops off. There is bright filaments on Northern Hemisphere developing. Small coronal hole on southern Hemisphere that will be earth facing in the next day or so this could create a continuous stream as the large earth facing coronal hole exits and this small hole enters earth facing. There is a number of new regions developing. My opinion is something is ramping up. There is energy building. I would say you need to have your gear ready and be keeping an eye out through out the night. Have alarms set and set up your call tree warnings to get each other up should something big pop off.

Incoming satellite, side view of sun

Based on lasco 2 we can see pretty even spread of activity toward that satellite and it will take a direct impact of CME. if you look carefully in the bright regions you can see the filaments of plasma lifting off. The stuff going off the the right of the image is going to earths direction. Again, this likely will be a scoop shovel type event. So that ejected plasma will catch up and shove winds faster like snow piling up when you push snow with a shovel. This is exactly the type of event that brought us the big storm last month.

Lasco 3 , Earth Facing view.

This view is at the end of todays video just prior to CME. It shows a quieting from last nights winds. I see from this there is winds coming off the tornadic regions we saw above and just starting on southern region you can start to the start of that CME that is not earth facing yet. Thing to remember when watching this feed is that you won’t see much in way of auroras if the light isn’t all the way around the halo. If the light is only in one direction left or right is more than likely going to miss earth. Remember the sun is spinning, so the winds and plasma shoot directly out and then spiral backwards of the direction of the spin. So you are more likely to get more from ejection on the right out going limb than left incoming limb. It also depends on the size of the event, how fast and far it shoots out before it spirals backwards and how much spread there is from the expulsion. This afternoons CME showed wide spread and fast movement. Think of this kind of like volcanic eruption, how far it shoots straight up before the wind starts blowing it side ways and spreading the ash. The two bright dots are planets that are behind the sun opposite of us.

This weeks Weather. Is going to be Good tonight for viewing but early morning hours will see incoming clouds and rain in Northern Michigan. Dakotas and West coast are likely to have the best viewing of auroras tonight as most other regions are either cloudy or have high level moisture in the air. We do have a storm system moving through Canada and down over mid west, this should begin to exit great lakes region by Tuesday. Second half of this will cause some patchy rain but majority will move over lower Michigan as it exits great lakes. Northern regions will likely see clearer skies. Viewing will be at the best likely from sometime 21st through early 22nd, before another region of storms and clouds move through Midwest. Clearing out by 24th. For those of you chasing Winds and Waves Monday should be a good day on North Eastern Michigan. Lake Superior should see some strong winds likely up to 30 miles per hour with gusting some areas near 40 miles per hour on 23rd. We do have a train of storms cycling off the west coast that may impact us in further future and There is a good system rotating off the east coast. This appears to be pinching storms and pushing them little southward as they move through Great Lakes.

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