According to Space Weather, although there are no large coronal holes on the Earthside of the sun, a sunspot complex 1226-1227 produced a strong M2-class flare on June 7th at 0641 UT with more eruptions in the offing.
M-FLARE AND RADIATION STORM: This morning around 0641 UT, magnetic fields above sunspot complex 1226-1227 became unstable and erupted. The blast produced an M2-class solar flare, an S1-class radiation storm, and a massive coronal mass ejection (CME). A recording of the blast from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory ranks as one of the most beautiful and dramatic movies of the SDO era. A video with commentary from solar physicist C. Alex Young of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center shows material splashing back to the stellar surface. "I've never seen material released this way before," he says in the video. "It looks like someone kicked a clod of dirt in the air--an amazing, amazing event." Coronagraphs onboard the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) are still monitoring the CME as it billows away from the sun. Watch the cloud expand. The speckles are caused by energetic charged particles hitting the camera's CCD array. This is what we mean by a "radiation storm"; the particles were accelerated by the explosion and are now peppering Earth-orbiting satellites and spacecraft like SOHO. Although the blast was not squarely Earth-directed, it will affect our planet. The CME should deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field during the late hours of June 8th or June 9th. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras when the CME arrives.
HAIR-RAISING SOLAR ACTIVITY: Over the past few days, amateur astronomers have recorded some of the most photogenic solar activity in years. Onlookers describe huge prominences of magnetized plasma rising above the stellar surface as "Unbelievable!" - "Hydrogen at its best"--"Massive and incredible!" This shot was simply hair-raising. Alan Friedman took the picture from his backyard observatory in Buffalo, New York, on June 5th. "There are more to come," he promises. And why not? The show is still underway. Latest images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory reveal at least three regions of continued activity. Readers with solar telescopes are encouraged to train their optics on the limb of the sun.WATCH: An amazing solar filament eruption.