On Friday, November 30, the sun, on which not a single spot had been detected, produced a coronal mass ejection aimed at Earth.
A prominence appeared in the star’s southern hemisphere and rushed towards our planet. The coronal mass ejection will reach Earth on December 5, and hitting the planet’s magnetic field, it will produce polar geomagnetic storms.
Earth is entering a stream of solar wind that flows from of a huge hole in the sun’s atmosphere. The first contact with the stream on December 1 caused an outburst of auroras over Sweden so bright that automated webcams in Abisko National Park were almost saturated.
© Ole Christian Salomonsen
«Solar minimum may be here, but you would never know it looking at the sky on December 1st in Abisko,» says Chad Blakley of Lights over Lapland. «It was an impressive display.»
Even more auroras are expected beyond the Arctic Circle. Earth is going deeper into the stream of solar wind, and experts of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say there is a 70% chance of minor G1-class geomagnetic storms.