Coronal hole emitting solar wind
Solar wind flowing from this coronal hole hit Earth’s magnetic field during the late hours of May 8, 2012 stirring geomagnetic activity and auroras over parts of Europe. The pair of CMEs en route to Earth (see below) could add to the effect of the solar wind stream, igniting even brighter auroras during the next 24-48 hours. NOAA forecasters estimate a 40% chance of geomagnetic storms on May 9th.
TWO INCOMING CMEs: A pair of solar eruptions on May 7th hurled coronal mass ejections (CMEs) toward Earth. Forecast tracks prepared by analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab suggests that clouds will arrive in succession on May 9th at 13:40 UT and May 10th at 07:54 UT (+/- 7 hours). The double impact could spark moderate geomagnetic storms. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras.
SUNSPOT SUNSET: Sunspot AR1476 is so large, people are noticing it without the aide of a solar telescope. The behemoth appears at sunrise and sunset when the light of the low-hanging sun is occasionally dimmed to human visibility.
Two M-Class Flares / Sunspot 1476
Solar activity increased to moderate levels thanks to newly numbered Sunspot 1476 (see image above). This new region rotated into view off the northeast limb and has so far produced a pair of M-Class flares. The latest event was an M1.3 at 23:01 UTC Saturday evening (May 8, 2012). Solar activity is again increasing.