Archive for Solar Flares

NOAA forecasters say there is 70% chance of polar geomagnetic storms

Posted in 2017, astronomy, Galaxy with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 17, 2017 by MARIE EMMANUELLE QUILICHINI

This is a “coronal hole” (CH)–a region where the sun’s magnetic field opens up and allows solar wind to escape.  Material is flowing from this coronal hole at speeds exceeding 650 km/s (1.5 million mph).

NOAA forecasters say there is 70% chance of polar geomagnetic storms on Jan. 18th when a fast-moving stream of solar wind hits Earth’s magnetic field. The Arctic light show, however, could begin even earlier.

A co-rotating interaction region (CIR) just in front of the solar wind stream is expected to reach Earth during the late hours of Jan 17th.

CIRs are transition zones between slow- and fast-moving solar wind. They contain density gradients and shock waves that often spark auroras. Free: Aurora Alerts

The incoming stream of solar wind is flowing from a large hole in the sun’s atmosphere. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory photographed the crescent-shaped structure directly facing Earth on Jan. 17th

More on:

Red Auroras over Virginia: Solar wind is pouring through a crack in Earth’s magnetosphere, sparking G2-class storms and bright auroras around the Arctic Circle

Posted in 2015, astronomy, Galaxy with tags , , , , , , , , on September 9, 2015 by MARIE EMMANUELLE QUILICHINI


Taken by Darren Shank on September 7, 2015 @ Spruce Knob, West Virginia

Red auroras are not fully understood. They occur some 300 to 500 km above Earth’s surface, much higher than ordinary green auroras. Some researchers believe the red lights are linked to low energy electrons from the sun, which move too slowly to penetrate deeply into the atmosphere. When such electrons recombine with oxygen ions in the upper atmosphere, red photons are emitted. At present, space weather forecasters cannot predict when this will occur.

Whatever causes red auroras, it could happen again tonight. NOAA forecasters estimate a 30% of geomagnetic storms on Sept. 9th as the solar wind continues to blow. Aurora alerts: text or voice

French astrophotographer Philippe Tosi Photographed the Sun & It’s a good thing that Earth is 150 million kilometers from the sun

Posted in 2015, astronomy, Galaxy with tags , , , on August 19, 2015 by MARIE EMMANUELLE QUILICHINI


French astrophotographer Philippe Tosi took the picture on August 17th, and he inserted an image of Earth for scale. The twisting plume of plasma stands more than 60,000 km (more than 5x the diameter of our planet) above the sun’s surface.

“To me,” says Tosi, “it looks like a woman dribbling Earth like a basketball.” Others have likened the structure to the Eiffel Tower and a tornado.

Aug. 18th marks is the third day in a row that the twister has been sighted. To monitor its progress, observers with backyard solar telescopes are encouraged to train their optics on the sun’s western limb. Or look in the realtime photo gallery:

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

Mystery of the sun’s solar weather: New type of small ‘cloud’ discovered

Posted in 2014, astronomy, Galaxy with tags , , , on October 15, 2014 by MARIE EMMANUELLE QUILICHINI




  • Dr Janvier from Dundee University discovered a new type of solar cloud
  • Solar clouds are groups of particles emitted by the sun into space
  • This latest finding is smaller than comparable coronal mass ejections




  •  They are known as ‘flux ropes’ owing to their shape  
  • But they were found to be much more numerous than bigger solar eruptions
  • She it could help us understand how space weather affects Earth
  • Discovery comes as one of Nasa’s sun-observing Stereo spacecraft failed





The earth’s magnetic field could flip in just 100 years, researchers have found.

The move, which would mean all compasses pointed south instead of north, was thought to take thousands of years.

However, a new study found it can happen far faster.

The new study by a team of scientists from Italy, France, Columbia University and the University of California, Berkeley, demonstrates that the last magnetic reversal 786,000 years ago actually happened very quickly, in less than 100 years – roughly a human lifetime.

The discovery comes as new evidence indicates that the intensity of Earth’s magnetic field is decreasing 10 times faster than normal, leading some geophysicists to predict a reversal within a few thousand years. 

Spectacular Aurora Borealis captured in Norway after solar blast on 2014 September 12

Posted in 2014, astronomy with tags , , , , on September 18, 2014 by MARIE EMMANUELLE QUILICHINI



The varying green hues of the Aurora Borealis are both captivating and mysterious as they dance majestically through the sky. 

The latest Northern Lights display was created after a solar blast on Friday, September 12.

As a result of the blast a large amount of clouds, which were made up of magnetically charged particles, were pushed towards Earth.

Although green was the primary colour during this recent Northern Lights display in Norway, varying colours such as pinks, reds, blues and yellows are also frequently visible during displays.

Korean astrophotographer O Chul Kwon captured this amazing aurora borealis in Northern Canada

Posted in 2014, astronomy, Galaxy with tags , , , , on August 12, 2014 by MARIE EMMANUELLE QUILICHINI



This amazing aurora light show was snapped near the town of Yellowknife, known as one of the world’s finest Northern Lights watching destinations.

3 X-Flares in 2 days : The Sun’s Activity Remains High, more X-flares are in the offing

Posted in 2014, astronomy with tags , , , , , , , on June 12, 2014 by MARIE EMMANUELLE QUILICHINI




ANOTHER X-FLARE: Solar activity remains high. Active sunspot AR2087 unleashed another X-flare on June 11th (X1.0), following two X-flares (X2.1 and X1.5) on June 10th. The latest blast was intense but short-lived, and it is not expected to have significant Earth-effects.
Solar flare alerts: textvoice

Yesterday’s double X-flare may have produced a geoeffective CME after all. At first it appeared that Earth was outside the line of fire, but a closer look at the CME reveals an Earth-directed component. Click to view a movie of the explosion from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory:

The movie shows a faint CME associated with the first X-flare emerging around 1200 UT. A second, brighter CME from the second X-flare quickly overtakes it, forming a “cannibal CME.” Computer models run yesterday by NOAA analysts suggest the merged storm cloud will reach Earth mid-day on June 13th. The glancing blow could spark polar geomagnetic storms.

Meanwhile, more X-flares are in the offing. At least two sunspots (AR2080 and AR2087) have unstable ‘delta-class’ magnetic fields that could erupt at any moment. The source of yesterday’s X-flares, AR2087, is particularly potent, and it is turning toward Earth. NOAA forecasters estimate a 60% chance of M-flares and a 30% chance of X-flares on June 11th.

Last night in Key West, Florida, Scott Wilson looked out over the Gulf of Mexico and saw 2 big sunspots melting into the sea:

Posted in 2014 with tags , , , , , , , on February 7, 2014 by MARIE EMMANUELLE QUILICHINI

The strange shape of the sun in Wilson’s picture is a mirage caused by refraction in warm air just above the sea surface. There are many types of sunset mirages. This one is called the “Omega Sun” because the sun resembles the Greek letter omega.

Browse the gallery for more sunspot sunsets:

Auroras in Abisko National Park February 1st, 2014

Posted in 2014 with tags , on February 5, 2014 by MARIE EMMANUELLE QUILICHINI

Powerful Auroras dancing over Abisko National Park On February 1st, 2014.If you would like to experience the magic of the aurora borealis in person please visit and book your place on one of our aurora expeditions while we still have spaces available.
Where will you be when the solar maximum arrives?

HUGE SUNSPOT TARGETS EARTH: One of the biggest sunspots in years is crossing the center of the solar disk

Posted in 2014 with tags , , , , , , on January 7, 2014 by MARIE EMMANUELLE QUILICHINI



One of the biggest sunspots in years is crossing the center of the solar disk, putting Earth in the way of potential eruptions. Rocky Raybell photographed the active region named “AR1944” yesterday from his backyard in Keller, Washington

The sprawling sunspot contains dozens of dark cores, the largest big enough to swallow Earth three times over. This makes it an easy target for amateur solar telescopes — or even regular cameras. Raybell used an SX40 digital camera on a tripod whole holding a Baader solar filer over the lens to capture his image. Photo details may be found here.

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