CME effects continue: fireworks & aurora tonight?

Thursday, 31 December 2015 - 19:08 UTC

CME effects continue: fireworks & aurora tonight?

Coronal mass ejection effects continue here at Earth and the IMF is slowly gaining strength.

The total strength of the IMF (Bt) lies at almost 16nT right now, a moderately high value. More importantly, the direction of the IMF (Bz) has gone southward again after a prolonged period where it was mainly pointing northward. Be sure to follow the data live here on the website to see if auroral conditions continue to be favourable as we approach UTC midnight.

The Wing-Kp index did report Kp7 and Kp6 during the past few hours but it feels like the Wing Kp-index might have been a bit too enthusiastic there as NOAA reported Kp6 during the previous 3 hour period and right now it's still at Kp4.

However, fear not: an increase in geomagnetic activity is still likely now the direction of the IMF turned southward again. Estonia has already reported aurora just like southern Sweden.

Kp6 remains possible in the hours ahead which means sky watchers near the line Dublin (Ireland) Manchester (England) Hamburg (Germany) Gdańsk (Poland) Vilnius (Lithuania) Moscow (Russia) still have a chance for aurora and fireworks tonight!

Your very own SpaceWeatherLive admins behind the scenes are Sander Vancanneyt and Marcel de Bont and we wish all of our visitors a wonderful 2016 with hopefully a lot of exciting space weather events!

Cover image: Aurora Australis from Australia where Aurora Australis Tasmania member Matthew Murgatroyd Burniston captured the first aurora of 2016!

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