Saturday, 21 January 2012

Possible Aurora 21/22 Jan 2012

There is a possibility of Aurora activity to be good tonight for those lucky enough to be in the right place to see it.

A report on states that active Sunspot 1401 erupted on the 19th producing an M3 class solar flare and a full halo coronal mass ejection which is expanding almost directly in the direction of the Earth. Strong magnetic storms are possible and the predicted impact is 22.30 UT (+-7 hrs) today.

A tweet from the British Geological Survey says:
Next 24hrs - QUIET. Expect STORM conditions late on Sat to Sun due to full halo CME seen on 19th. Good chance of seeing aurora in the north.

The BGS site also has the following storm warning:

On 19 January there was an M3.2 X-ray solar flare and
an associated full-halo Coronal Mass Ejection (CME). We expect
this CME to strike Earth's magnetosphere in the next 24 to 36 hours.

Following this event there is an increased risk of a geomagnetic
STORM from late on 21-JAN to 22-JAN (UK time). There is also an
increased chance of viewing the aurora borealis (or australis)
during local night-time hours, assuming dark and clear skies,
though this is dependent on the configuration of the interplanetary
magnetic field (IMF) embedded in the solar wind. 

For a simple explanation of what causes an aurora take a look the the web site of  The Center for Computational Heliophysics in Hawaii HERE.


  1. No chance of seeing it here - we have been foggy and freezing all day and will be for a couple more at least. Hope you get a look!


  2. Wilma: No sighting here as the effect was much weaker than expected - and it was cloudy last night.


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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