Spotless Sun, Coronal hole

Saturday, 18 March 2017 - 17:03 UTC

Spotless Sun, Coronal hole

Solar activity remains very low today (A-class only!) as there are no sunspot regions on the earth-facing disk at the moment. This is already the 13th consecutive day without any numbered sunspot regions on the earth-facing disk and its a sight we will have to get used to as we are trending towards solar minimum. Okay, we now know that we shouldn't expect any solar flares any time soon so... what do we exactly have to look out for? Yes! Coronal holes!

...and guess what... its our lucky day today as we have a very nice coronal hole facing our planet today!

Its a familiar solar feature as we have seen this coronal hole before. A quick look into our ever expanding archive (yes that is indeed a teaser) reveals that this coronal hole changed a quite a bit since the last time it faced our planet almost one month ago. While the extension west of the main opening seems to have closed up quite a bit, the main opening has increased in size and that is great news for us sky watchers. Larger coronal holes in general provide us with a faster solar wind stream that pushes a stronger Co-rotating Interaction Region (CIR) ahead of the stream. For those who think that was incomprehensible gibberish: bigger coronal holes often cause more aurora than small coronal holes! Who would have thought!

The solar wind stream should take about three days to arrive at our planet which gives us an estimated arrival on 21 March. The NOAA SWPC has not yet issued a geomagnetic storm watch but we think minor G1 geomagnetic storm conditions are likely on 21 and perhaps 22 of March. Well worth the effort to keep an eye on the real-time solar wind data in the days ahead!

Never want to miss one of our news articles again? Subscribe to our mailing list! Always want to be up to date of the latest space weather events? Our Twitter account is the place to be for the latest space weather alerts or if you don't have Twitter you can sign up for the push alerts! Unsure what all of this space weather tech talk means? Our help section is the place to be where you can find in-depth articles, a FAQ and a list with common abbreviations. Do you still have a burning question after digging trough our help section? You are more than welcome to post on our forum where we will personally help you the best we can!

Current data suggest that it is not possible to see aurora now at middle latitudes
The solar wind speed is currently moderately high (520.1 km/sec.)

Latest news

Today's space weather

Auroral activity Minor Severe
High latitude 30% 35%
Middle latitude 10% 1%
Predicted Kp max 4
Solar activity
M-class solar flare 1%
X-class solar flare 1%
Moon phase
Last Quarter

Support SpaceWeatherLive.com!

A lot of people come to SpaceWeatherLive to follow the Sun's activity or if there is aurora to be seen, but with more traffic comes higher server costs. Consider a donation if you enjoy SpaceWeatherLive so we can keep the website online!

100%

Get instant alerts!

Space weather facts

Last X-flare:2017/09/10X8.2
Last M-flare:2017/10/20M1.0
Last geomagnetic storm:2017/12/05Kp5 (G1)
Number of spotless days in 2017:94
Last spotless day:2017/12/09

This day in history*

Solar flares
12001M5.6
22001M4.8
32001M3.0
42000M1.3
52001C9.3
ApG
1200428G1
2200627G1
3200325G1
4201418
5199415
*since 1994