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Kp6

Sizeable solar flare - possible auroras

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FYI the British Astronomical Association have issued a "warning" about enhanced solar activity, I think this is the first time they've done this. See here.

Did they never issue warnings during the last solar cycle?

Yes solar activity was high in the last few days and a warning was justified especially considering the rapid growth of 1158/61 and 62.

Noaa SWPC issue a report that includes their opinion on solar activity, it gets updated at 10pm daily, see here

Edited by Kp6

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Just what exactly are you referring to when you say 'the software'?

On the ace craft are a number of devices all working completely independently of each other, granted that all the data it records is collected and displayed on one graph, but that is the only association the different devices ever have with one another.

All data collected by ACE is processed by various software components. Algorithms to determine for instance proton density have been changed several time over the lifetime of ACE (if you had bothered to read the documentation available at the ACE site you would know this). Anyone who has been involved in signal processing would know that careful adjustments of parameters are required to get the best possible results. Surely you didn't think that wind density would be magically recorded by one of the sensors on ACE?

Like the sensors themselves, the implemented algorithms have operational limitations. Within some data ranges the results will be good while closer to the limits the degree of uncertainty increases. Very low solar wind densities (for instance when SOHO/MTOF displays values below 0.4 p/cc) can be challenging for those writing the software, and if not handled properly, can cause erroneous displays of all parameters dependent on sampling protons.

As to whether ace was or wasn't malfunctioning is not for me to decipher, I'm not in the position to be able to come to such a conclusion. That is the reason I asked a well qualified and respected solar physicist who WOULD know. If he believes it's malfunctioning then that's good enough for me to share such findings.

You were the one used the word malfunctioning. Why won't you stand up to that statement? As you saw others reacted to that dubious statement. Please have a look at the ACE 3 day and 7 day SWEPAM displays. There are no obvious indications of any malfunction there. Sure the 24 hour display did display some questionable trends, but remember that all real time data are temporary and should not be used to draw any scientific conclusions. The data will be calibrated and error corrected afterward.

Dr.Svalgaard pointed you to WIND data and concluded that the displayed ACE data was wrong (I'm sure he didn't initiate the use of the word malfunctioning). If you bother to compare with WIND and SOHO/MTOF you would see that ACE solar wind density is, generally speaking, at a much lower level.

Anyone with a keen interest in monitoring solar wind data would know that were episodes during the previous cycle when ACE real time data displayed suspicious values (similar to the recent occurrence). It is interesting that you were unaware of this. This is not malfunctioning, rather a weakness of the real time processing software.

Solar wind densities reached around 10p cm/3, again, nothing substantial, I've seen higher densities recorded several times in the last year or two from minor limb CME's associated with C-class flares as well as from coronal hole wind streams

Maybe in ACE you saw 10 p/cc. Both WIND and SOHO/MTOF displayed significantly higher peak wind densities (near 60 p/cc, it's all available online, please check it out). The strange thing is that Dr.Svalgaard has made a point of ACE data being wrong and even then you keep referring to it. As all scientists know it is important to have several sources for the same type of information when you are in a situation where you need to determine reliability

The one accurate part of your statement was the northward tendency of our magnetic field. That was to be expected due to the location of sunspot 11158 when the CME's occurred and I touched on that (albeit in a simplified manner) when replying to Nexus6.

... (comments not related to the topic snipped)

I only started this thread to alert people to the potential for a display of the northern lights across the UK. Anything over and above that, I'm not interested. I'm certainly not going to waste my time arguing with people who have absolutely no idea what they're talking about.

If you knew that the magnetic field would be northwards then why did you start this thread? Surely a waste of everyone's time. You have some catching up to do before you are in a position to judge whether anyone knows what they are talking about.

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I'm still not interested.

This is a forum for friendly banter between people who hold an interest in astronomy.

Have a good day!

Edited by Kp6

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Yes, almost certain based on what the Stereo B image currently shows. For you to see something from it down in Essex it would need to hit at least kp7, I'm not sure that this 'c.h' has the ability to cause such stormy geomagnetic activity. If it is accompanied by even a weak 'limb' cme then the possibility of kp7+ exists.

Edit to add...

It seems ace has been switched off in the last few hours.

Really appreciate all that you have put into this thread, has been really interesting to read.:)

Please keep us posted on any other activity

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Hear, hear!

Thank you George and everyone else that has contributed. I have learned a lot.

My thirst for more knowledge about the Sun - and to be truthful I was beginning to think that it was a mythical creation that didn't really exist beyond the great belt of cloud - has been stirred.

I will blame you all when I go to purchase those solar filters in the future...

Thanks again, I for one have really appreciated it. Keep it up.

K

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A solar wind stream hit the earth earlier today, and as a result a geomagnetic storm is underway. Currently KP5. Should be some fantastic aurora photo's from tonight if the skies remain clear "up north"!

Such a shame we dont get them down here!

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Such a shame we dont get them down here!

Your time will come timmy.

kp7 would be enough for colour on the horizon where you are. Geo-storms of that intensity should become more of an occurrence as this solar cycle picks up pace. Being on the ball and spotting strong disturbances in the geomagnetic field as they happen bodes well for catching a display. :)

It will be interesting to see if the geo-storm currently ongoing persists into this evening. If so then there is definitely opportunities for aurora viewing. Plenty of places with clear skies and no moon to invade the view.

The cause of this disturbance is a wind stream from a rather small coronal hole that was facing earth on the 26th, I'm quite surprised to see this level of geomagnetic activity.

For me, the big one to look forward to is the expected disturbance on the 3rd/4th of March from the large recurring coronal hole.

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Do keep it coming. I cant say I understand everything but I love the thought of maybe being able to see aurora in Britain. In any event the information is information and I am actually learning some stuff!

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I would say if you're at 56N or higher you should be able to see some activity to the north east horizon. If conditions remain at the level they are at the now, then aurora will become visible as far south as 54N as we get closer to midnight.

noaa have a persistence warning for elevated geomagnetic activity through tonight and tomorrow.

Space Weather Warnings Currently in Effect

20:17 - Very high level of activity captured in the most recent polar pass.

post-21156-133877539261_thumb.gif

Edited by Kp6

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And a second very active aurora on the 20:45 pass.

I'm heading up a nearby hill for a better look. :)

good luck

post-21156-133877539272_thumb.gif

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I would say if you're at 56N or higher you should be able to see some activity to the north east horizon. If conditions remain at the level they are at the now, then aurora will become visible as far south as 54N

No chance at 50N then :)

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I'm staying Peterborough on Thursday night - where I stay is VERY VERY dark.

I'm taking the camera and tripod with me - just in case!

Thanks KP6

Ant

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Bloomin typical!

Just flown over to Amsterdam - for work, before anyone makes the usual comments...

Good luck back home, hope you get to see something soon.

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Bright green banding seen from Thurso 58.5 N.

No wavy curtain or searchlight effect yet but given how low the aurora oval is and the strenght of the "storm" i would fully expect them to appear over the next couple of hours.

Managed to rattle of a couple of shots,will post later on or maybe tomorrow.Working 12 hour shifts just now so it was a case of,straight in from work at 8.15 and straight out again.

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Bright green banding seen from Thurso 58.5 N.

No wavy curtain or searchlight effect yet but given how low the aurora oval is and the strenght of the "storm" i would fully expect them to appear over the next couple of hours.

Managed to rattle of a couple of shots,will post later on or maybe tomorrow.Working 12 hour shifts just now so it was a case of,straight in from work at 8.15 and straight out again.

Great to hear that you caught it Stuart, when I went out a couple of hours ago the cloud was just clearing up, behind it was a settled green band all the way from north east to north west reaching about 30 degrees above the horizon. I bet you caught some excellent images up in Caithness. :)

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Great to hear that you caught it Stuart, when I went out a couple of hours ago the cloud was just clearing up, behind it was a settled green band all the way from north east to north west reaching about 30 degrees above the horizon. I bet you caught some excellent images up in Caithness. :)

Just back in from a second session.The aurora peaked at 11.40 with a few "searchlight beams" and after that i noticed the red upper atmosphere fading from the shots,closely followed by a slight dimming of the green glow.There was cloud low on the horizon which spoiled things a little,the reflection from the aurora lit up the bay so it was a good show,not great but most enjoyable.

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Didn't see anything from here (North Antrim coast), there seemed to be some high cloud hazing things a bit in the north west though.

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Went back out for a few hours and wasn't disappointed, the aurora was still visible at 3.30am when I called it a night!

It looks like the cause of this geomagnetic storm was in fact down to the large coronal hole wind stream that's due to hit us in the next 24-36 hours. The wind from the coronal hole has not arrived yet but we are getting buffered by solar wind in advance which is getting compressed by the stream.

This implies that a continuous period of enhanced geomagnetic activity over the next 24 to 48 hours is quite likely.

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What an excellent thread! Thanks to George for his fascinating input and fine restraint whilst dealing with the 'interuption'.

I shall look in over the weekend to see what chance I may have of a sighting on my flight home next Tuesday night/wednesday morning, one never knows.

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