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SPACE WEATHER WOMAN

From Fizzle to Fun

Dear <<First Name>>,

Over the past couple of weeks, we have seen several big-flare players that have wowed us with their impressive near X-flares and gorgeous solar storm launches. However, when it came to seeing these solar storms reach Earth, nearly all of them were a fizzle. This meant aurora photographers were left mostly in the lurch and Space Weather forecasters like myself were left to wring our hands. These events demonstrate better than anything else how impressive solar flares on the Sun do not always translate to impressive solar storm impacts at Earth.

Strangely enough, we can expect some decent aurora over the next few days, not from any spectacular event on the Sun, but rather from a dark and quiet coronal hole. Last month, fast wind from this coronal hole gave us decent, long-lasting aurora shows well into mid-latitudes (see the purple Sun on the right side in the picture above). This time, it is poised to do the same (see the purple Sun on the left).

Indeed, we are already feeling the effects of the fast solar wind ramping up, which has bumped us to sustained active conditions, causing aurora to reach as far south as Scotland, Iceland, and near the Canadian/USA border over the Great Lakes, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta overnight, with more to come. This sure makes up for the solar storm fizzles we have seen over the past few weeks. On top of that, in the last 24 hours a quiet filament erupted from the easternmost edge of this same coronal hole. From coronagraphs (see what I am pointing at in the image above), it looks like this solar storm will graze Earth on September 5, exactly in the middle of all this fast solar wind. What luck! Finally, after all this waiting, we get to go from fizzle to fun!


Cheers,
Tamitha
 
Fast Wind Comes Before Flares Return | Space Weather News 09.02.2022
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