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Wednesday, January 08, 2014


Aurora Alert, January 9-10 2014

Animation of the X Class flare blasted out by giant sunspot AR 1944. The speckles are from high energy protons hitting the imaging detector. Image Credit NASA/ SOHO

Remember giant sunspot AR1944? Well it let off an X class flare which produced an Earth-directed Coronal Mass Ejection.

This is anticipated to arrive at Earth on January 9 (Thursday) around 08:00 UT (which is 19:00 AEDST) +/- 7 hours! (so it could arrive as early as midday or as late as 2 am on the morning of the 10th).

NOAA predicts G2 and G1 class geomagnetic storms, which have the potential to produce aurora in Tasmania, Southern Victoria, Possibly Southern WA and South Island New Zealand. The Australian IPS has an anodyne prediction of "active".

The Moon is at First Quarter, so will not interfere much, and will be low in the late evening if the storm arrives later. As always, look to the south and look for shifting glows (greenish red for Tassie and NZ, red for Victoria and WA), dark sky sites are best. Some idea of the sorts of things it might be possible to see is http://astroblogger.blogspot.com.au/2013/07/images-from-saturday-nights-aurora.html

NOAA predictions

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alloinoHello Ian, will I see anything wonderful in Penola South Australia tonight? Shall I stay up all night?
G'Day Janet

The Answer is "maybe", the CME has not im pacted yet. se we have no overall feeling for waht is going to happen. If nothing has happened by midnight I would say head for bed (which of course means there will be a marvellous display immediately you head bedwards, whereas if you stay up all night nothing will happen)
Has anyone seen anything yet?
Will you write on here if it happens.??????
Any sign of the lights in Victoria? Have been looking out the window every couple of minutes :)
Did anything happen after I went to sleep (about 0200!)?

Yes, I would have written if anything had happened, but it didn't :-(. The CME hit 11 hours later than the nominal time, in daylight, we are waiting for European and US reports at the moment.
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