Coronal hole faces Earth

Monday, 2 January 2017 - 14:57 UTC

Coronal hole faces Earth

Solar activity remains very low (there are no numbered sunspot regions on the earth-facing side of the solar disk today) but 2017 is off to a good start anyway. A large coronal hole is facing our planet today and sending an enhanced solar wind stream towards our planet.

Our automated coronal hole detection system detected the gaping hole in the solar corona and published a tweet on our Twitter channel @_SpaceWeather_

It is indeed the northern extension of the southern hemisphere polar coronal hole that survived its trip around the far side of the Sun to send some more high speed solar wind towards our planet. While its shape changed a bit compared to the last time it faced our planet, it remains a massive coronal hole that stretches all the way to the solar equator. Solar wind speeds of about 700km/s (as recorded by STEREO Ahead) are to be expected. The solar wind stream could arrive in about two days from now (4 January 2017) and minor G1 geomagnetic storm conditions are possible when the solar wind stream arrives.

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

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Today's space weather

Auroral activity Minor Severe
High latitude 20% 15%
Middle latitude 5% 1%
Predicted Kp max 3
Solar activity
M-class solar flare 1%
X-class solar flare 1%
Moon phase
Waning Crescent

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