Am I doomed to write about nothing but flares and auroras? Yesterday night around 11 p.m. CST, a fresh flare exploded within sunspot group 1429. This one was an M-class, a level below the X-class flares of recent days, but still powerful and headed nearly straight for Earth.
Just when you thought things were going to calm down, they’re not. Our nonstop run of lights that began in earnest yesterday look to continue through the weekend. The coronal mass ejection lofted by the new flare is expected to hit around 1 a.m. Sunday morning March 11. Expect a strong G3 storm and another round of northern lights.
There’s more good news. By Sunday, the moon will be in waning gibbous phase and lower in the sky. That means darker skies and easier to see northern lights. How long can we keep this going? I hope long enough that everyone whose heart’s desire has been to see an aurora is satisfied. I’ll update routinely through the weekend on the progress of the storm. By the way, if you’d like quicker updates, you can find me on Twitter at AstroBob_bk