SOLAR WIND, INCOMING: During solar minimum, long-lasting holes open in the sun’s atmosphere, releasing streams of solar wind into space. One of those holes is facing Earth now, and it’s a big one:
We’ve seen this hole before. It opened in the summer of 2018 and has been spinning around as the sun rotates, lashing Earth with solar wind approximately once a month. The last time our planet felt its gaseous emissions, on Dec. 27-28, 2018, Alaska skies exploded in green and “the best auroras of the season” were observed over Iceland.
The solar wind will return on Jan. 31st or (more likely) Feb. 1st, bringing with it a chance of G1-glass geomagnetic storms. Arctic sky watchers should be alert for auroras. Visibility should be good as the waning crescent Moon provides dark skies for both photography and naked-eye observing.