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Solar Minimum Is Coming - Solar Wind Set to Spark Impressive Auroras

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SOLAR MINIMUM IS COMING: As 2018 unfolds, sunspot numbers continue to plummet, signaling the approach of a deep Solar Minimum. The sun’s extreme UV and X-ray output has flatlined, sharply reducing the ionization of Earth’s upper atmosphere.

Shortwave radio operators experience this when they try (and often fail) to skip long-distance signals off of Earth’s thinning ionosphere. Meanwhile, cosmic rays are intensifying in a yin-yang relationship with the solar cycle.

SOLAR WIND STREAMS: Today, Jan. 10th, Earth is exiting a stream of solar wind that sparked a night of lovely auroras around the Arctic Circle.

Another stream of solar wind is on the way. It is flowing from a hole in the sun’s atmosphere. Coronal holes are regions in the sun’s atmosphere where the magnetic field peels back and allows solar wind to escape.

Gaseous material is emerging from this hole faster than 500 km/s (1.1 million mph). Estimated time of arrival: Jan. 13th. Another outbreak of Arctic auroras is likely on that date.…

Clips, images credit: NASA/SDO, & SOHO

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