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Space Weather Alert - 29th October 2021

What Has Happened?

An SDO-AIA image of the solar disc showing the Solar Flare from active region AR12887 on the 28th October 2021.

Image of the Sun's corona showing the CME. The Sun is behind the occulting disc. (SOHO NASA/ESA).

PPlot of the solar X-ray flux from the 27th October 2021 showing multiple M-class flares, and the X1.0 flare (circled) peaking at 15:35UT on 28th October 2021.


An X1.0 solar flare and associated coronal mass ejection (CME) was observed on October 28th from active region 12887 which is centrally located in the southern hemisphere of the solar disk. This CME has a significant Earth-directed component and is expected to arrive late on Saturday 30th or early on Sunday 31st October.

Geomagnetic activity will be enhanced in response to the CME arrival and STORM conditions are anticipated throughout the remainder of the weekend, peaking at STORM G3 levels late on Saturday or into Sunday and averaging minor storm (STORM G1) overall.

Assuming clear dark skies, and that the geomagnetic field is suitably disturbed, there is an increased chance of seeing the aurora. In the UK, those in Scotland, northern England and Northern Ireland may have the best opportunities.


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The British Geological Survey is part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and is one of the Natural Environment Research Council's Research Centres.

CME or Coronal Mass Ejection
The eruption of a portion of the outer atmosphere of the Sun into space, caused by rapid changes in its magnetic field. Often occurs along with a solar flare.

Solar Flare
Energy released by the explosive reorganisation of magnetic fields within the Sun's atmosphere.

Solar Wind
The ever-present expansion of the Sun’s hot outer atmosphere into the solar system, which carries space weather within it.

Sunspot/Active Region
A region of intense magnetic field in the Sun's visible outer atmosphere often associated with flares and CMEs.