Coronal Mass Ejection for July

Update: July 22, 2015

This combined CME/Coronal hole came and went with some nice aurora for a couple of days. There was only one report of transformer issues reported in the news. The cause has yet to be determined although it happened while the earth was in a geomagnetic storm. 

Below are the readings from the event. As for spaceweather dot com’s headline of this being an unexpected CME bombardment, I find questionable since all the data clearly showed it was directed at earth. Also the description of earth passing through the CME isn’t correct since the CME is a canon blast for the sun which is equivalent to describing someone who is shot that they walked into the bullet. I don’t think that defense would work in a court room.
The sun just realeased some material. It doesn’t appear to be very dense but may increase the aurora for you Southern Hemisphere folks. I have both NOAA and NASA’s predictions. 

October 7, 2015 (the best aurora of 2015)

Fall was a very eventful season for aurora hunters around the world. The sun kicked up in activity and it appeared that we might get a busy winter ahead. Unfortunately, winter never got to the levels it did on October 7th.

The sun had a pretty wild group of sunspots but they had calmed down while facing earth. Before they were completely out of range, they decided to flare up with a moderate M-Class flare. To top it all off, there was a huge coronal hole on the center disk of the sun that resembled Australia. This coronal hole was a beast and added to that potential mayhem was the Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) which had taken place on September 30th.

The following days I spent far too much time watching the readings from the space agencies anticipating what would happen. The average time for solar events to affect the earth is about three days but with big CME’s, it can take far less, however this again was only moderate.

During this time, Venus, Mars and Jupiter were aligning with Earth in our eastern sky.




Every planet has a magnetic connection to the sun. This connection acts like a conduit.  When a CME happens on or near enough to make contact with this magnetic connection, we get was it called a Proton Flux where we get a blast of protons. The graph below shows this take place. The chart with the earth spread out and a purple circle shows the X-ray blast we receive from these sunspot flares. It takes the X-rays approximately 15 minutes to arrive. The color represents the intensity of the X-ray blast. Unfortunately, I caught the end of it so it doesn’t show the intensity it really had at its peak.

Below is the prediction that NOAA released. This not only depicts the trajectory but also the hypothesized density.

This was a post from’s website.



The chart below monitors the magnetic field of the earth. This is a very important tool for aurora enthusiasts. It’s with this chart that you can actually see when a CME or a coronal hole stream begin to interact with earth. This series of charts shows this happening very nicely.

This graph monitors the magnetosphere and the solar wind. The top two monitor the magnetosphere and the other three monitor the solar wind.



The chart below monitors disturbances in the magnetic field. When these disturbances are great it puts the earth into what we call a geomagnetic storm. Intense geomagnetic storms are what can cause transformer fires by inducing electricity into power lines. Satellites begin to drag and if they’re not tended to, can fall back down and burn up in the atmosphere.  HAM radio operators have difficulty communicating during these storms. They’ve also been suspect for causing problems to computers and other electronic devices.


These models are simulated aurora. They’re the easiest way to check if you’re anywhere close to seeing aurora and approximately what time is best to view it. As you can see from this event, it was very intense.




Clear skies allowed me to be lucky enough to capture this wonderful experience. Before it got dark I could see the aurora. I couldn’t capture that with the camera but I knew things would be exciting that night. As the night grew, so did the intensity. This was the best aurora I witnessed in 2015. My neighbor came out to shoot pictures with me. We were both floored.


Here is the space weather news from this event. The picture I was credited for was a picture my friend took of me while I was taking pictures. 

July 28-August 1, 2016 (approximately)

Update: July 28, 2016
The coronal hole stream from this coronal hole is now beginning to affect the magnetosphere. The aurora should be decent the evening of the 28th and 29th. 

Update: July 22, 2016

The coronal hole is now visible on the earth facing solar disk. Image is taken from NASA’s Solar Dynamic Observatory satellite (SDO) with the 211 angströms filter. It has remained the same size approximately and it will have a significant affect on earth. Giving my amateur prediction we should expect a level G2 geomagnetic storm with a K index of at least level 6. If there is an earth directed CME produced in combination, we can expect even greater storm conditions. My estimated time of impact will be around July 23-24 and will last approximately 24 hrs. Continued instabilities may last two or three days afterward decreasing over time. I expect there to be good aurora for those of you in Tasmania and parts of Canada. 

Update: July 16, 2016

The right portion (or western portion if on the sun) of the coronal hole seems to be opening up. We will soon lose sight for a while until it shows up on SDO. When it becomes visible there we will know for sure if it has continued to spread or if it decided to close up. Here is the most recent view of this coronal hole. Also to the left, nearly center of the sun you will see the next coronal hole. This is the positive polarized coronal hole on the opposite side of the sun. 

 The two + symbols on the picture below represent STEREO A(head) and STEREO B(ehind). STEREO B has been OOC for a couple of years. 

Just a heads up to those who can see the Aurora Australis. In two weeks this coronal hole will be earth facing. It’s too early to say for certain but if this coronal hole opens up, we will be getting a huge blast of Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF) and coronal hole stream. On the down side, it could be closed up as well. I will be periodically updating the status of this so if you’re reading this, check back in a few days. – July 14, 2016

This image below shows this backside coronal hole has negative polarity. 

November 3rd, 2015


Taken on November 3rd, 2015. This aurora was the effect of a coronal hole which was centered on the sun’s equator. It was given the name CH697 and put the earth into a geomagnetic storm for two days, staying pretty steady at KP5. The magnetosphere remained a bit unsteady (bobbing back and forth from KP3 to KP4) until November 6th, 2015. Solar wind speed averaged around 650km/sec but had fluxes up to 800. This photo was taken around 21:30 (+1UTC). Below are the readings from this solar storm.


A night in September 2015



On September 4, 2015 a plasma filament released on the earth facing portion of the sun. This event had an added feature to it; a coronal hole stream facing directly at earth. The photos were taken the evening of September 7th and the aurora became more intense as the night grew from late to early.

The first image was taken by NASA’s Solar Dynamic Observatory.

The pinwheel image is a model created by NOAA predicting the approximate time size and density of the coronal mass ejection.

The magnetometer shows earth’s magnetic field. The interesting aspect of this graph is the missing portion of data which indicates that the impact was so intense, the meters were off the chart.

The black graph with the colorful lines monitors the solar wind conditions as well as the magnetic field.

The K Index monitors the earth’s magnetic field disturbances. When it shows red columns, the earth is in a geomagnetic storm. These storms create problems to electronic systems as well as power grids.

The last model is a representation of the strength of both the Aurora Borealis and the Aurora  Australis (missing on this post).





The beginning. My first post. 

This photo was taken on December 1, 2015 around 21:30 (+1UTC).  The halfmoon is rising in the east. This aurora was the result of a coronal hole stream which at its strongest point put the earth into a level 2 geomagnetic storm. During the time this shot was taken, NOAA had us at KP4 although it was more likely KP5 or 6 locally.