Sunday, July 15, 2012

Catch AR 1520 CME Aurorae Before They're Gone!

The above image is an overview of the current aurora activity over the north pole (left) and south pole (right) as of today (July 15th) at 23:59 UTC (7:59 PM EDT). The images are extrapolated from measurements taken during the most recent polar pass of the NOAA POES satellite. Image Credit: NOAA/Space Weather Prediction Center 

Currently in progress is the geomagnetic storm caused by the passing of the July 12th coronal mass ejection (CME) from the sun's Active Region 1520 (AR 1520). NOAA/National Weather Service reports the geomagnetic storm activity continues to be (G2). 

Over the evening of July 14th to 15th, the aurora borealis (northern lights) appeared in the United States as far south as California, Colorado, Missouri, Utah, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Washington, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, Michigan and Arkansas.

So far for the evening of July 15th to 16th, aurorae have been reported in the northern hemisphere from observers in Scandinavia, Canada and Alaska. In the southern hemisphere, the aurora australis (southern lights) has been sighted in New Zealand, Australia, and directly above the South Pole itself.

In North America, northern-tier U.S. states from Maine to Washington, and all points northward, should be alert for aurorae after nightfall. Observers, please note that the best hours for aurora-spotting are around local midnight.

Meanwhile, back on the sun... No significant activity is reported from AR 1520 or AR 1521. These regions continue to rotate toward the sun's western limb. There is the potential for more activity from these regions, but nothing major at the moment. Stay tuned...

To monitor solar flare activity minute by minute, visit the "Today's Space Weather" page of NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center, URL: . 

To learn more about the sun and to stay current on solar activity, visit the mission home page of the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), . 

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