Sun awakes

6 Jul 2016

At www.spaceweather.com (July 5th 2016) we are told, unlike Earth which has auroras in response to solar activity, Jupiter makes its own auroras, in part from the gaseous exhaust of Io's volcanoes. Are they about to learn differently? Be that as may but on the same day a magnetic canyon shaped hole has opened up in the atmosphere of the Sun. Suddenly it isn't so quiet. It stretches more than 700,000 km end to end, a coronal hole where magnetic fields are peeled back to allow plasma to escape. A plume or stream of plasma will reache the Earth on July 8th or 9th.

   Also on display at the moment are noctolucent clouds   and this one was seen over Calgary in Canada by a photographer that had taken his sleeping bag out of town in order to get it. He dozed off but was awaken by the light streaming onto his face. It is a mixture of green aurora and noctilucent clouds. The aurora came without sun spots or solar flares - and during a quiet Sun (taking a loll). Apparently Earth passed through a region of space filled with negative polarity magnetic fields. Such fields can open a crack in Earth's magnetosphere so that solar wind pours in and sparks aurorae. No sun spots required.

Here are noctilucent clouds over northern France the following day ...