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Thursday, September 07, 2017

 

Updated Geomagnetic warning and Aurora Watch, Major storms forecast (7-9 September)

Animated gif showing SOHO LASCO C2 and C3 difference footage of the X9.3 coronal mass ejection as it is ejected into space

Late last night the sun blasted out an X 9.3 solar flare, the largest flare in a decade which sent a coronal mass ejection hurtling towards us. The SWS has issued a geomagnetic warning and aurora watch for 7-9 September (UT) due to expected impact of  a coronal mass ejection on top of the one that has already arrived. 

This CME is expected to arrive late in the UT day on the 7th (which is the morning of the 8th Australian time).  The SWS predicts major to severe storm conditions. The Space Weather Prediction Service has Predicted a G2-G3 storm on  8-9 August UT (with most of the action after sunrise on the 8th, but possibly G2 storms around 4 am and some possible action around twilight on the evening of the 9th).

However, uncertainty in the time of arrival may mean the CME arrives earlier of later (with better viewing opportunities for Australia on the evening of the 9th). The First CME predicted yesterday has arrived, but despite favorable solar wind speed and density, the magnetic field remains stubbornly northwards, it may dip south later in the evening, so aurora could still result.

If major to sever storms occur when the second CME arrives and result in aurora they could potentially be seen from as far north as central New South wales, Southern SA and Southern WA. if G2-3 storms persist and weather permitting. The Moon is two day safter full, and will significantly interfere with aurora. That said, last weeks Moonlight aurora was easily seen, and if severe storms occur then aurora should be visible even i strong Moonlight.  Be patient, as the activity may rise and fall of the magnetic polarity of the wind may fluctuate significantly. In the last aurora, definite action was seen in the "Blue Hour of twilight", so be alert on the evening of the 7th from twilight on.

Dark sky sites have the best chance of seeing anything, and always allow around 5 minutes for your eyes to become dark adapted.
As always look to the south for shifting red/green glows, beams have been reported consistently over the last few aurora, as well as bright proton arcs and "picket fences". A double arc, curtains and picket fences were seen in last weeks aurora despite the moonlight.

Here is the near-real time satellite view of the clouds http://satview.bom.gov.au/
Cloud cover predictions can be found at SkippySky.  

A new aurora camera is being installed at Campania, Tasmania. A live feed of the images from this camera is  sill not available.

SUBJ: SWS GEOMAGNETIC DISTURBANCE WARNING 17/43
ISSUED AT 0259UT/07 SEPTEMBER 2017
BY THE AUSTRALIAN SPACE FORECAST CENTRE.

Expect an additional increase in geomagnetic activity ranging
from Minor Storm to Severe Storm conditions midway through the
UT day, 08 September, particularly at mid to high latitudes.
Storming will likely continue 9 September, ranging from Active
to Major Storm levels.

INCREASED GEOMAGNETIC ACTIVITY EXPECTED
DUE TO CORONAL MASS EJECTION
FROM 08-09 SEPTEMBER 2017
_____________________________________________________________

GEOMAGNETIC ACTIVITY FORECAST
08 Sep:  Active to Minor Storm
09 Sep:  Major to Severe Storm

_____________________________________________________________

SUBJ: SWS AURORA WATCH
ISSUED AT 0326 UT ON 07 Sep 2017 by Space Weather Services
FROM THE AUSTRALIAN SPACE FORECAST CENTRE

A coronal mass ejection is expected to impact the Earth within the
next 48 hours, possibly resulting in significant geomagnetic activity
and visible auroras during local nighttime hours. Aurora alerts will
follow if significant geomagnetic activity actually occurs.

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