CME IMPACT: A coronal mass ejection (CME) hit Earth's magnetic field on March 7th at approximately 0400 UT. The impact was not a strong one, but it could stir up polar geomagnetic storms anyway. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras. MAJOR SOLAR FLARE: Big sunspot AR1429 has unleashed another major flare. This one is the strongest yet, an X5-class eruption on March 7th at 00:28 UT. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the extreme UV flash. This eruption hurled a bright CME into space. First-look data from STEREO-B are not sufficient to determine if the cloud is heading for Earth. Our best guess is "probably, yes, but not directly toward Earth." A glancing blow to our planet's magnetosphere is possible on March 8th or 9th. Stay tuned for updates. Solar flare alerts: text, phone. - Space Weather.
MAJOR X5.4 SOLAR FLARE: The second strongest solar flare of Cycle 24 in terms of X-Ray Flux, just peaked around Active Sunspot 1429. This major event measured X5.4 at 00:24 UTC and triggered a strong R3 Level Radio Blackout. A coronal mass ejection will likely result and due to the sunspots more geoeffective position, there will be a chance for some sort of impact. CME UPDATE: A bright Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) is now seen in the new STEREO Behind COR2 images. High energy proton levels are now on the rise and a radiation storm is imminent. CME IMPACT / GI GEOMAGNETIC STORM: In perhaps another developing story, the Solar Wind is showing a sudden increase from 360 km/s to 440 km/s and the IMF is currently tilting sharply south. This is a glancing blow impact from an earlier CME. A Geomagnetic Sudden Impulse measuring 20 nT was detected at 04:27 UTC. Be on the lookout for Aurora at high latitudes. A G1 Geomagnetic Storm is now in progress (Kp=5). - Solar Ham.WATCH: Stunning images of the X5 Class Solar Flare.
UPDATE: Volcano / Earthquake Watch March 8-12, 2012!
Targeting Coronal Hole (CH506) with associated solar disturbances and earthbound coronal mass ejections indicate a potential of a strong seismic event in the coming days. After analysis I have isolated (28-36°S Latitude). Solar symmetry to earth indicates best fit regions for a possible 6.7-7.0 Magnitude Earthquake are: Coquimbo-Chile, San Juan-Argentina, Bio Bio-Chile or the Kermadec Islands Region. Likely Time Frame March 8-10. Targeting the southern component of Coronal Hole (CH506) which may indicate strong shaking at higher latitudes. Solar observations indicate a possible 5.2-5.5 magnitude earthquake at (44°S and 55°S Latitude). Solar symmetry to earth indicates best fit regions for a possible 5.5 Magnitude Earthquake are: South Island New Zealand, Aisen Chile and the South Sandwich Islands Region. Time Frame March 8 and 11. Outgoing Longwave Radiation Anomalies this week have strong concentrations over these regions: Australia, Hawaii, Samoa, Argentina, Chile, Madagascar, Nicobar Islands and Andaman Islands India region. - Solar Watcher.WATCH: Volcano and Quake Analysis for March 8-12.
UPDATE: Geomagnetic Solar Storm In Progress - X5-Class Flare Hits Earth on March 8th, 2012!
WATCH: Geomagnetic storm in progress.GEOMAGNETIC STORM UPDATE: A CME propelled toward Earth by this morning's X5-class solar flare is expected to reach our planet on March 8th at 0625 UT (+/- 7 hr). Analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab, who prepared the CME's forecast track, say the impact could spark a strong-to-severe geomagnetic storm. The flare also accelerated energetic protons toward Earth, triggering an S3-class solar radiation storm, in progress. Such a storm is mainly a nuisance to satellites, causing occasional reboots of onboard computers and adding noise to imaging systems. A mild geomagnetic storm is already underway, following a lesser CME impact on March 7th around 0400 UT. Shortly after the cloud arrived, a burst of Northern Lights appeared over the US-Canadian border. Shawn Malone photographed the display from the shores of Lake Superior: "I was lucky to catch this brilliant outburst of aurora activity that was very active for close to an hour," says Malone, who has also made a time-lapse video of the display. "The aurora had no problem shining through the moonlit skies."
UPDATE: CME Impacts Earth - One the Biggest Solar Storms in Years!
CME IMPACT: A coronal mass ejection (CME) hit Earth's magnetic field on March 8th around 1100 UT. The impact was weaker than expected, sparking only a mild (Kp=5) geomagnetic storm. However, the storm could intensify in the hours ahead depending on electromagnetic conditions in the wake of the CME. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras. - Space Weather.
WATCH: Solar could cause disruption on Earth.
The biggest space weather storm in five years is heading towards Earth and could disrupt power grids, GPS systems, satellites and airline flights, Nasa has warned. In a statement on its website, the US space agency said the storm was caused by two solar flares that erupted on Sunday. Following the flares, two bursts of solar wind and plasma - known as a coronal mass ejection (CME) - were thrust towards Earth."The first is travelling faster than 1,300 miles per second; the second more than 1,100 miles per second," the statement added. The brunt of the storm is expected to last until Friday. A similar storm in January forced Delta airlines to divert flights across the polar regions. "Space weather has gotten very interesting over the past 24 hours," said Joseph Kunches, a space weather scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The solar flares alone caused brief high frequency radio blackouts that have now passed, according to the NOAA. The storm is likely to be "the strongest one since December 2006," Kunches said, despite admitting the Earth experienced a stronger radio blackout last August. "But en masse, if you put it all together with the geomagnetic effects and the solar radiation effects, I would put it on par with one at the end of the last solar cycle, which was over five years ago." - SKY News.
UPDATE: Geomagnetic Storm in Progress - Sunspot 1429 Unleashes M6.3 Solar Flare and CME!
CME IMPACT: A widely-reported CME produced by an X5-flare from sunspot AR1429 hit our planet's magnetic field on March 8th. The impact was weaker than expected, producing only a mild geomagnetic storm. Power grids and other sun-sensitive technologies were unaffected. Update: As March 9th unfolds, conditions in the wake of the CME are becoming favorable for stronger geomagnetic storming. HUGE SUNSPOT: Active sunspot AR1429 continues to grow. It is now more than seven times wider than Earth. CHANCE OF FLARES: NOAA forecasters estimate a 40% chance of an X-class solar flare today from big sunspot AR1429. The sunspot is almost directly facing Earth, so any such eruptions should be geoeffective.High-latitude sky watchers should remain alert for auroras as Earth's magnetic field continues to reverberate from the CME impact. Aurora alerts: text, phone. - Space Weather.WATCH: M6.3 Solar Flare and Earth-Directed CME
UPDATE: "Geomagnetic Unrest" in Progress - Coronal Mass Ejection Heading For Earth!
WATCH: Stunning images of the Sunspot 1429 eruptions.ANOTHER CME IS HEADING FOR EARTH: Sunspot AR1429 has unleashed another strong solar flare, an M6-class eruption on March 9th at 0358 UT. The blast hurled a coronal mass ejection (movie) almost directly toward Earth. According to analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab, the CME will arrive on March 11th at 0649 UT (+/- 7 hr) adding to the geomagnetic unrest already underway. An animated forecast track shows that the cloud will also hit the Mars Science Lab spacecraft and Mars itself on March 12th and 13th, respectively. Geomagnetic storm alerts: text, phone. AFTERSHOCKS: At first, yesterday's widely-reported CME impact produced little in the way of Earth effects. Eventually, however, a geomagnetic storm did develop as Earth passed through the wake of the CME. Mild to strong geomagnetic storms are underway around the Arctic Circle. - Space Weather.
UPDATE: CME Produces Monster Tsunami - 100,000 km High, Speed of 250 km/s with 2 Million TNT Megatons!
WATCH: Stunning images of the Sunspot 1429 eruptions.CME PRODUCES MONSTER TSUNAMI: The same eruption that hurled the CME toward Earth also produced a monsterous tsunami of plasma on the sun. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the shadowy but powerful wave rippling away from the blast site. The tsumani was about 100,000 km high and raced outward at 250 km/s with a total energy of about 2 million megatons of TNT. Such waves often underlie CMEs like the one en route to Earth now. Animated forecast tracks show that the CME will also hit the Mars Science Lab (MSL) spacecraft on March 12th followed by Mars itself on March 13th. Mars Rover Curiosity onboard MSL might get some interesting readings as the cloud passes by. - Space Weather.
UPDATE: Sunspot 1429 Produces Powerful M8-Class Flare!
WEEKEND SOLAR FLARE: Sunspot AR1429 is still erupting this weekend. On Saturday, March 10th, it produced a powerful M8-class flare that almost crossed the threshold into X-territory. In New Mexico, amateur radio astronomer Thomas Ashcraft recorded a series of shortwave bursts emanating from the blast site: audio. Also, the explosion propelled yet another CME toward Earth: forecast track. The cloud is expected to hit our planet's magnetosphere on March 12th around 1800 UT. A CME from an earlier explosion will arrive much sooner, however. - Space Weather.WATCH: Sunspot 1429 Produces M8.4 Solar Flare and Bright CME!