''A shadow of its former self''

Monday, 14 May 2018 - 18:10 UTC

''A shadow of its former self''

A lot of aurora enthusiasts have put 17 May in their agenda as a possible date for some enhanced geomagnetic activity and thus auroral displays. Why? Because that is the date that a coronal hole solar wind stream is expected to arrive at Earth from a coronal hole that managed to give us moderate G2 geomagnetic storm conditions back in April.

Great news I hear you think. Well... yes that is great news of course but as the reliable news source that we are... we are going to have to be all serious and stuff and put everyone with their feet back on the ground. Brace yourself because here comes the truth:

This coronal hole is only a shadow of its former self. Coronal holes are dynamic solar features that can persist for months or even years which polar coronal holes are known to do around solar minimum. However, coronal holes can also grow or disappear over the course of just weeks. This coronal hole did just that, it is diminishing in size. Just check out the picture below to see how it changed in less than one month's time.

Indeed the dark area which is the coronal hole has decreased dramatically in size. That means less high speed solar wind particles are escaping from that area and as a result, we should not expect the same kind of geomagnetic conditions as we've seen in April. In fact, we highly doubt that what is left of this coronal hole is even enough to bring us active geomagnetic conditions, let alone G1 geomagnetic storm conditions. Only if you are at a high latitude locations you might see some enhanced auroral displays but it looks like this coronal hole is down for the count. Sorry about the bad news but that's solar minimum for ya!

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 (500.1 km/sec.)

Latest news

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!

59%

Latest alerts

Get instant alerts!

Space weather facts

Last X-flare:2017/09/10X8.2
Last M-flare:2017/10/20M1.0
Last geomagnetic storm:2018/05/06Kp6 (G2)
Number of spotless days in 2018:78
Current stretch spotless days:2

This day in history*

Solar flares
12014M1.3
22000M1.3
32001M1.2
42000M1.1
52002M1.1
ApG
1200093G4
2200730G2
3199526G1
4200321
5201320G2
*since 1994

Social networks