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A Colorful Backdrop

Dear <<First Name>>,

After spending far too long with a spotless Sun, our favorite star finally brings some bright regions back into Earth-view. The emergence of several of these, including one that has officially been designated a sunspot (region 2749), has brought some much needed smiles to many in this community-- including me. Already we have had about 200 days without any sunspots this year, which is about as deep as solar minimum gets. Is anyone as ready as I am for a change?

As for the forecast this week, we are expecting some fast solar wind to hit over the next few days as a southern coronal hole rotates through the Earth-strike zone. This could bring aurora to high latitudes, possibly through the weekend, but aurora photographers at mid-latitudes should expect shows to be sporadic and elusive. As for emergency and amateur radio, this storm might boost radio propagation a bit, especially on Earth's night side. Improved trans-equatorial propagation might also occur near the gray line (which means there might be some good radio contacts between the northern and southern hemisphere during the dawn and dusk hours) as these conditions will likely be enhanced by the weak solar storm.

Of course, the increased solar activity this week may fizzle as fast as it started. Its way too early to wish for big solar flares from a yet-to-be-seen Solar Cycle 25. But the return of bright regions on Earth's dayside is a nice gift. If nothing else, they make for a colorful backdrop while we wait for the weather to change.

A New Spot on the Sun & A Southern Coronal Hole | Space Weather News 10.03.2019
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