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Solstice

Aurora Borealis / Northern Lights

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The Northern Lights were visible from Mount Washington yesterday.

 

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Nice catch Solstice.  It's also a good reminder that auroras are twice as likely around the equinoxes.  While the sun is heading into a sun spot minimum, the solar winds are still quite capable of creating a geomagnetic storm.  

Here are a few resources for solar activity.

http://spaceweather.com

https://www.swpc.noaa.gov

http://sidc.oma.be

 

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G1 geomagnetic storm currently, socked in with clouds so there's really no possibility of seeing anything tonight. 

G1_warning_12.jpg.1713fce5092894d418b41a5ce5a10084.jpg

planetary-k-index.gif.e17a69e6e4a01de0a46cc3fff764cb7c.gif

https://www.swpc.noaa.gov

The solar wind isn't real fast right now, but that's supposed to change, hopefully we see clear skies the next couple nights.  Unfortunately, the moon is awful bright.

SIDC

Quote

INFO FROM SIDC - RWC BELGIUM 2018 Sep 21 12:32UTC

The level of the solar flaring activity is extremely low, with no reports
of C-class and even B-class flares. The last reported flare (B-class or
stronger) was B1.0 flare on September 11. We expect such a low lever of
activity to persist in the coming hours.
During last 24 hours we did not observe signatures of the possibly Earth
directed CMEs, and the solar protons remained at the background level.

The Earth is still inside the slow solar wind with the speed of about 330
km/s, and the interplanetary magnetic field magnitude is 3 nT. The
geomagnetic conditions are presently quiet and we expect them to stay so in
the coming hours. We can expect unsettled geomagnetic conditions late on
September 22 due to expected arrival of the fast solar wind.

http://sidc.oma.be

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We are ill prepared for these kinds of events, I wonder what it would do to cell phones?

http://spaceweather.com

Space Weather in Wartime: A Sunspot Detonates Naval Mines

Nov. 9, 2018: Rewind almost 50 years. On Aug. 2nd, 1972, giant sunspot MR11976 began to explode. For the next 2 days it unleashed a series of X-class flares, causing deep radio blackouts on Earth and punishing the solar panels and onboard electronics of satellites in Earth orbit. One CME (cloud of plasma) rocketed across the sun-Earth divide in only 14.6 hours–a record that still stands today. Resulting geomagnetic storms sparked auroras so bright, they cast shadows in countries as far south as Britian.

1972sunspot_strip.jpg
Above: Images of giant sunspot MR11976 from the Paris Observatory. [more]

The 1972 solar storm is legendary at NASA because it occurred in between two Apollo missions: the crew of Apollo 16 had returned to Earth in April and the crew of Apollo 17 was preparing for a moon landing in December. If the timing had only been a little different, astronauts could have been sickened by radiation, requiring an emergency return home for medical attention.

Turns out, it’s legendary in the Navy, too. According to a research paperjust accepted for publication in the journal Space Weather, declassified Naval archives reveal an extraordinary explosion in the sea lanes near Vietnam: “On 4 August (1972) TF-77 aircraft reported some two dozen explosions in a minefield near Hon La over a 30-second time span…Ultimately the Navy concluded that the explosions had been caused by the magnetic perturbations of solar storms, the most intense in more than two decades.”

manilla_magnetogram_strip.jpg
Above: A magnetogram from Manilla reveals unusual disturbances on Aug. 4-5, 1972. [more]

The authors, led by Delores Knipp of the University of Colorado, continue: “Aerial inspections revealed additional evidence of detonations elsewhere along the coast. The wartime memoirs of a US Navy Mineman-Sailor, Chief Petty Officer Michael Gonzales,state: ‘During the first few weeks of August, a series of extremely strong solar flares caused a fluctuation of the magnetic fields, in and around, South East Asia. The resulting chain of events caused the premature detonation of over 4,000 magnetically sensitive [mines].'”

This prompted the Navy to fast-track the replacement of magnetic-influence-only mines with mines that also required seismic or acoustic triggers during periods of high solar activity.

The August 1972 storms affected Earth in ways that are are only now being fully understood almost 50 years later. Moreover, Knipp and colleagues say the storms could be a previously-unrecognized example of an extreme Carrington-class event, and they urge further scrutiny. Given the experience of the US Navy, who can argue? Read the original research here.

 

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4 minutes ago, MaineJay said:

We are ill prepared for these kinds of events, I wonder what it would do to cell phones?

http://spaceweather.com

 

 

Yeah. Modern day problems. Only in the most recent past would it be any concern for humans as far as effects on their day to day life. Not sure anyone knows for sure what a worst case scenario solar storm is. Back in the days of old all it might do is scare the pants off people. With our reliance on satellites and electronics who knows how bad it could get. 

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While we are in the midst of a sunspot minimum, that doesn't mean nothing's going on. 

Active region 2734 tossed out a little CME yesterday.  It's not necessarily earth directed, but worth keeping an eye on.  The orientation of the earth's magnetic field near the equinoxes increases the chance at auroras.

Boom. 

ezgif-1-4b0db86b323d.gif.1ebd501761c238f14034031c37afb307.gif

https://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/assets/img/dailymov/2019/03/08/

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With a predicted KP of 6 you should be able to see it MJ but it's only going to 4 down here and we really need a 7 to see it but one never knows I'll be on the lookout. It looks by the SWPC (Space Weather Prediction Center) forecast the best time would be tomorrow morning around 5am, the 09UT in bold.

And from the SWPC its even lower.

:Product: 3-Day Forecast
:Issued: 2019 Mar 10 1230 UTC
# Prepared by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center
#
A. NOAA Geomagnetic Activity Observation and Forecast

The greatest observed 3 hr Kp over the past 24 hours was 2 (below NOAA
Scale levels).
The greatest expected 3 hr Kp for Mar 10-Mar 12 2019 is 5 (NOAA Scale
G1).

NOAA Kp index breakdown Mar 10-Mar 12 2019

            Mar 10     Mar 11     Mar 12
00-03UT        2          2          3     
03-06UT        2          4          4     
06-09UT        1          4          4     
09-12UT        0          5 (G1)     3     
12-15UT        2          5 (G1)     3     
15-18UT        2          5 (G1)     3     
18-21UT        2          4          3     
21-00UT        2          4          3     

Rationale: G1 (Minor) storms are likely on 11 Mar from an anticipated 
glancing blow from the 8 Mar CME.

B. NOAA Solar Radiation Activity Observation and Forecast

Solar radiation, as observed by NOAA GOES-15 over the past 24 hours, was
below S-scale storm level thresholds.

Solar Radiation Storm Forecast for Mar 10-Mar 12 2019

              Mar 10  Mar 11  Mar 12
S1 or greater    1%      1%      1%

Rationale: No S1 (Minor) or greater solar radiation storms are expected.
No significant active region activity favorable for radiation storm
production is forecast.

C. NOAA Radio Blackout Activity and Forecast

No radio blackouts were observed over the past 24 hours.

Radio Blackout Forecast for Mar 10-Mar 12 2019

              Mar 10        Mar 11        Mar 12
R1-R2            1%            1%            1%
R3 or greater    1%            1%            1%

Rationale: No R1 (Minor) or greater radio blackouts are expected.  No
significant active region flare activity is forecast.

Space Weather Prediction Center NOAA NWS

Durn DST and UTC time I believe I have that 5am right, yesterday I was figuring a 5hour diff while in EST now it's 4.  :hmm:

 

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Another CME, this one from rapidly developing spot 2736, and this one appears earth directed, arrival on the 23rd.

ezgif-1-81a55e133d07.gif.001254e9fd3a942604f362a3b37d99a7.gif

SIDC, the spot has since been numbered.

Quote

FAST WARNING 'PRESTO' MESSAGE  from the SIDC (RWC-Belgium) 2019 Mar 20
17:35:06

STEREO-A COR2 beacon data shows at least two CMEs this morning, related
with the flares from the unnumbered active region northwest of AR 2735. A
slow one (~300 km/s) around 9:00 UT and a faster one (~500 km/s) around
12:00 UT, the last one related to a C4.8 flare. These CMEs are most likely
Earth directed. At this moment there is no LASCO data available (data gap
between 8:00 UT and 16:00 UT) so a better estimation of the speeds and
directions of propagation is not possible. Due to the location of the
source region, these CMEs will arrive to the Earth late on March 23 or on
March 24.

 

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On 3/21/2019 at 5:54 AM, MaineJay said:

Another CME, this one from rapidly developing spot 2736, and this one appears earth directed, arrival on the 23rd.

ezgif-1-81a55e133d07.gif.001254e9fd3a942604f362a3b37d99a7.gif

SIDC, the spot has since been numbered.

 

Glad someone posted it.  Lots of folks on these forums are gonna have a good shot at seeing Auroras overnight Saturday.  

Got a chance to see them while in NH in 2003 and it was one of the most amazing things I have ever witnessed.  That was a X1 flare though but not completely Earth directly thank God.    

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7 hours ago, Hail_On_Me said:

Glad someone posted it.  Lots of folks on these forums are gonna have a good shot at seeing Auroras overnight Saturday.  

Got a chance to see them while in NH in 2003 and it was one of the most amazing things I have ever witnessed.  That was a X1 flare though but not completely Earth directly thank God.    

Hopefully we clear out tonight and turn that magnetic field southward, verbal equinox increases the odds of auroras, so I've got my fingers crossed that the CME does in fact, arrive.

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I stayed up till 1am but wasn't able to see anything. Hope you guys had better luck.

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On 3/24/2019 at 6:25 AM, Cignus said:

I stayed up till 1am but wasn't able to see anything. Hope you guys had better luck.

Looks like it was a whiff unfortunately.  Perhaps that spot will still be crackling when it rotates back around in 12-14 days.

256332260_planetary-k-index(3).gif.2c7dd832c22e0b279c67b407cac36824.gif

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We can only hope.

I remember two occasions that I observed auroras here imby, both times they started around 10pm and lasted until 1:30 or so in the am.

Beautiful and mesmerizing with various shades of green, yellow, blue, white, violet, pink, and red. They'd roll in like the ocean's wave action from the E NE to the W NW, from my perspective I couldn't help thinking how they looked like Motorola's trademark M

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On 3/25/2019 at 6:51 AM, MaineJay said:

Looks like it was a whiff unfortunately.  Perhaps that spot will still be crackling when it rotates back around in 12-14 days.

256332260_planetary-k-index(3).gif.2c7dd832c22e0b279c67b407cac36824.gif

Here comes old 2736 coming around the east limb, still appears to be a cracklin'.  I know SIDC put the chances of a C-class flare at 15%.

ezgif-1-0a5ab55ee53c.gif.1a744a4a3b5e14316f193472c4a39a84.gif

https://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/assets/img/dailymov/2019/04/

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Posted (edited)

Looks like a May 8th arrival with a Kp of 4, a bit weak for my area. I need 7 or better:

solar1.PNG.96b711cb396552d039719e3e962ec9b1.PNG

Source: SpaceWeatherLive

sol2.jpg.b056536d74d2fa0f1e817ca7f83d8285.jpg

Source: SolarHam

Edited by Cignus
Added more content...

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Of course we get G3 storm conditions, when it's completely cloudy.  The have been some additional ejections of plasma however, and I'll stress that forecasting the effects is exceedingly difficult, as the current "surprise" storming illustrates.

268990020_planetary-k-index(4).gif.ab047074ea33c36472dae1b5856113aa.gif

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There's still time to plan:

Quote
G1 (Minor) Watch in Effect for 15 & 16 May 2019, UTC-Days

published: Monday, May 13, 2019 20:16 UTC

The G1 (Minor) geomagnetic storm watch is now in effect for both 15 and 16 May, 2019 (UTC-days) due to anticipated CME effects. A series of three observed Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) have taken place since 10 May, 2019. The first two CME events are expected to arrive on 15 May and the third CME is anticipated to arrive the later half of 16 May. The source location for the CME's has been associated with disappearing solar filaments (DSF) along areas of the magnetic neutral line in the vicinity of the unipolar sunspot group, Region 2741. Arrival times for any geoeffective components of these CMEs have a level of uncertainty; however, most model runs are in agreement and the consensus holds for 15 and 16 May arrivals. Keep checking our SWPC webpage for the latest information, forecasts, warnings and alerts.

Source for quote and following snip

sol1.PNG.9566226fa210c8a891c9d98f24247042.PNG

 

Overnite tonight looks to be the better of the two for me. ComeOn! 7:

sol.PNG.d351dea9331c19e0e67da86b707455cf.PNG

Source

Maybe tomorrow night for you, but with 58 to 65% cloud cover it doesn't look promising  :classic_unsure:  :

solmj.PNG.3baf549b5da5e610820902916287dfda.PNG

Source

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Funny, I was researching geomagnetic storms and the Carrington Event about a week ago! @MaineJay you staying up for this? Think @Cignus and myself are too far south. 

G2_watch_3.jpg.bcc11173bfb7b3fee124a79c56b8a097.jpg

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A good time for mby is from 10pm to 2am and I went out for awhile at 10:30 but it was OVC to BKN, it did clear a bit around midnight but with not seeing aurora and getting sleepy I packed it in. Getting up at 4am this morning (I have terrible sleep habits) I went out for awhile till sun-up. At 4 it was OVC to SCT to BKN. At 5 there was a large swath of sky open but I didn't have any luck.

I'm going to try and stay up till midnight tonight but it'll be slim pickens. MJ's area is still in a Kp6 area and we're down to 4 and the sky is mostly cloudy to BKN to A FEW an we need at least a Kp of 6.5 so I'm not hopeful, but I'll still have my tripod / camera ready!

kp.PNG.0ce556ef665e62a3e451ad832dc80699.PNG

But the SWAO (Space Weather Advisory Outlook) has tonight and tomorrow night as possibles. Check the bottom of the quote I have it in bold:

Quote

:Product: Advisory Outlook advisory-outlook.txt
:Issued: 2019 May 13 0240 UTC
#
# Prepared by the Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center
# Please send comments and suggestions to SWPC.Webmaster@noaa.gov
#-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Official Space Weather Advisory issued by NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center
Boulder, Colorado, USA

SPACE WEATHER ADVISORY OUTLOOK #19-19
2019 May 12 at 8:39 p.m. MDT (2019 May 13 0239 UTC)

**** SPACE WEATHER OUTLOOK ****

Summary For May 6-12
G1-Minor storm levels were observed on 11 May. No other space weather storms were observed. 

Outlook For May 13-19
G1-Miinor storm levels are likely on 15 and 17 May. No other space weather storms are expected.

Source

This site says we might be okay IF you have a clear shot to the northern horizon. That means I'll have to travel, and I'll have to think about that.

sol1.PNG.f81d6cf403827e66e480434a6adc4e3c.PNG

 

Think I'll go an check, clear skies Solstice!

Steve

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10 hours ago, Solstice said:

Funny, I was researching geomagnetic storms and the Carrington Event about a week ago! @MaineJay you staying up for this? Think @Cignus and myself are too far south. 

G2_watch_3.jpg.bcc11173bfb7b3fee124a79c56b8a097.jpg

Last night was cloudy, and I don't think they fired up. I'll likely be up at various points tonight, as my kids haven't been sleeping much, by much I mean at all. I got about an hour of sleep last night, which I believe is only 2 Z's...

I'll have my camera ready to go just in case, but I won't be driving out to the better vantage points around.

@Cignus I'd recommend trying the longest exposure with the ISO maxed out right off the bat, that's how I determine if it's worth it.

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