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Sunday, October 31, 2004


Aurora alert 31/10/04-1/10/04

Since I last wrote, the Sun has been pepped with sunspots again, including a double sunspot 693 and a large sunspot 691. These spots are large enough to see using safe solar projection techniques.

A number of M class X-ray flares, and one brief X class flare have erupted from 691, and a complex series of coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are headed our way, at least one is directly aimed at Earth.

What this means for aurora is uncertain, and depends on the timing of the arrival of this complex, it is probable that there will be minor storm activity, with occasional severe bursts. The CME is predicted to hit anywhere between 5 pm (AEDST) Nov 1 to 4 am Nov 2, with the best prediction for 9.00 pm Nov 1 AEDST. Just in case it is earlier than expected, people might like to watch from about midnight tonight (31st).

Minor storms are likely for high latitudes (Tasmania, Southern New Zealand, Australian Antarctic Territories) tomorrow and the day after (Monday 1 Nov and Tuesday 2 Nov). Depending on the strength of the CME and its arrival time. People in Southern Victoria and Southern SA should keep a weather eye out incase severe storm peaks occur.

As always, look to the south.

However, the nearly full moon will significantly interfere with seeing any aurora, and dark sky sites have the best chance of seeing anything.

Cheers! Ian

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