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.

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

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Auroral activity
Minor Severe
High latitude 20% 10%
Middle latitude 1% 1%
Predicted Kp max 2
Solar activity
M-class solar flare 5%
X-class solar flare 1%
B1.9 B5.2 B2.6

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