Coronal hole faces Earth

Friday, 24 March 2017 20:48 UTC

Coronal hole faces Earth

The coronal hole solar wind stream is now starting to wane and the auroral oval has retreated back to higher latitudes. Does that mean we are in for a long quiet period? Fortunately not as we have yet another coronal hole facing our planet today!

This is starting to become a famous coronal hole as this coronal hole has been around for well over a year in all kinds of shapes and sizes. It also caused some decent geomagnetic storming when it faced Earth. During the last rotation it caused moderate G2 geomagnetic storm conditions (Kp6) on 1 March.

Lets compare how this coronal looks like right now and how it looked like during the previous rotation. Indeed, like two drops of water don't you think? It hardly changed during its trip around the far side of the Sun. The most northern part of the coronal hole actually looks like it increased slightly in size. That is excellent news as that means we should expect similar solar wind conditions on this rotation as we had during the previous rotation. Based on these facts we conclude that it is not out of the question that we will again experience moderate G2 geomagnetic storm conditions once the solar wind stream arrives. The solar wind stream should take about 3 days to cover the distance between the Sun and the Earth so the solar wind stream is likely to arrive on 27 March. We issue a moderate G2 geomagnetic storm watch for this coming Monday, 27 March 2017.

Any mentioned solar flare in this article has a scaling factor applied by the Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC), the reported solar flares are 42% smaller than for the science quality data. The scaling factor has been removed from our archived solar flare data to reflect the true physical units.

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