Coronal hole faces Earth

Monday, 5 December 2016 - 20:41 UTC

Coronal hole faces Earth

Sunspot region 2615 never really got going again after the two M-class events on 29 November. The sunspot region grew in size the past few days but never regained the magnetic complexity needed for M-class events. A shame as a nice earth-directed coronal mass ejection would have been very welcome during these quiet times. That means we shift our attention to coronal holes once more and guess what... we have a large coronal hole facing our planet today!

Our automated coronal hole detection system detected the coronal hole and sent a tweet to our Twitter account @_spaceweather_ this morning:

As you can see it is a very large northward extension of the southern hemisphere polar coronal hole. It is indeed a pretty large opening that extends all the way to the solar equator so we should see a very decent solar wind stream impact at our planet in 2 to 3 days (7 or 8 December) from now. Minor G1 geomagnetic storm conditions are likely and an isolated period where we reach moderate G2 geomagnetic storm conditions should not be excluded.

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Current data suggest that it is not possible to see aurora now at middle latitudes

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