(QuakeWatch) Four simultaneous planetary alignments taking place the last two days of February with One Geocentric alignment and three Heliocentric. Planetary geometry of these almost simultaneous interactions should coincide with very high levels of solar activity from February 27-29 but also the potential for significant geophysical events felt here on the Earth.
Via Space Watch
CHANCE OF STORMS: NOAA forecasters estimate a 40% chance of geomagnetic storms on Dec. 9th, increasing to 55% on Dec. 10th in response to an incoming solar wind stream. High-latitude sky watchers should remain alert for colorful auroras after nightfall.
THE GEMINID METEOR SHOWER IS UNDERWAY: Canada's Meteor Orbit Radar (CMOR) is picking up echoes from the constellation Gemini. It's a sign that the annual Geminid meteor shower is underway. The bright pink "hot spot" in this CMOR sky map shows where Geminid meteoroids are hitting the atmosphere:
NOAA forecaster estimate a 40% chance of geomagnetic storms on December 9th, increasing to 55% on December 10th.
Solar activity is expected to continue at very low levels with a chance for C-class flares all three days (08-10 Dec), and a slight chance for M-class (R1-R2/Minor-Moderate) radio blackouts on days two and three (09-10 Dec) due to an increased overall flare probability from the active region noted in STEREO imagery, rotating onto the visible disc.
Posted by Apparently Apparel in Alternative, Hot Headlines, Solar Activity
Good evening. A quick solar update as we prepare to head into Friday. Solar activity during the past 24 hours was low with a number of minor C-Flares detected. Region 2434 in the southeast quadrant was the source of much of this activity and will remain a threat for an isolated moderate M-Flare. A potential active region located just beyond the northeast limb was responsible for a C4.9 flare at 23:05 UTC Thursday evening. Attached photo captured by SDO using the 131 angstroms channel captures the aforementioned (C4.9) flare. We will get a better look during the next 24-48 hours.
Geomagnetic activity during the past 24 hours has been fairly quiet. The solar wind is currently just above 400 km/s and the Bz component of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) is pointing slightly south. Sky watchers at higher latitudes should remain alert as a minor (G1) storm watch will remain in effect for the next day.
Posted by Apparently Apparel in Alternative, Daily News, Hot Headlines, Solar Activity
An impressive coronal mass ejection (CME) was observed in coronagraph imagery today following a large prominence eruption off the west limb. The widescale plasma cloud does not appear to have an Earth directed component due to its non geoeffective positioning. Had this been directed towards Earth, major geomagnetic storming would have been likely.
Below is an up close and personal look at sunspot cluster 2422 as we head into Wednesday. The active region maintains a complex magnetic configuration with a number of relatively small delta zones present. C-Class and isolated moderate M-Class flares will be possible during the next 24 hours with a smaller threat for a major X-Class event. All imagery courtesy of the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) using the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI) instrument. In addition to Sunspot 2422, a large prominence is currently in the process of lifting off on Wednesday morning. Should a coronal mass ejection (CME) be associated, it will likely be directed away from Earth. Still a great looking event courtesy of the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) using the 304 angstroms channel.
Posted by Apparently Apparel in Alternative, Daily News, Solar Activity, Hot Headlines
CHANCE OF FLARES: NOAA forecasters estimate a 70% chance of M-class solar flares and a 25% chance of X-flares on Sept. 30th. The likely source would be giant sunspot AR2422, which has an unstable 'beta-gamma-delta' magnetic field. Radio blackouts and radiation storms are possible if the sunspot explodes.
UNSTABLE PROMINENCE: If sunspot AR2422 does not explode today, something else might. A spectacular prominence is dancing along the western limb of the sun:
Randy Shivak took the picture from his backyard observatory in Prescott Valley, Arizona. "The prominence is huge, and seems to be lifting off the solar surface," he says.
Prominences are clouds of hot plasma held above the sun's surface by solar magnetic fields. The magnetic infrastructure of this prominence appears to be connected to an active sunspot (AR2423) just behind the sun's western limb. If that sunspot flares, it could destabilize or even destroy the prominence. Amateur astronomers with solar telescopes are encouraged to monitor developments.
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