CME Tagged ‘CME’

New Sunspot Activity

Monday, August 12th, 2013

BREAK IN THE QUIET: Solar activity has been low for weeks. The emergence of sunspots AR1817 and AR1818 could break the quiet. Both pose a threat for M-class solar flares. AR1817 has already produced one almost-M class eruption:

The C8-category flare was recorded by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory on August 11th at 2158 UT. Whether it is a herald of bigger things to come remains to be seen. AR1817 is almost directly facing Earth, so any eruptions this week will probably be geoeffective.

fr/spaceweather.com

Large Sunspot Eruptions

Monday, July 8th, 2013

BIG SUNSPOT FACES EARTH: Colossal sunspot AR1785 is now directly facing Earth. The active region has a ‘beta-gamma-delta’ magnetic field that harbors energy for X-class flares, yet so far the sunspot has been mostly quiet. Could it be the calm before the storm? NOAA forecasters estimate a 55% chance of M-flares and a 10% chance of X-flares on July 8th.

Sprawling more than 11 Earth-diameters from end to end, AR1785 is one of the biggest sunspots of the current solar cycle. In fact, it can barely fit on the screen. Click on the dark core below to see a complete hi-res picture taken by Christian Viladrich of Nattages, France:

To take the picture, Viladrich used a filtered 14-inch Celestron telescope. All those irregular blobs surrounding the primary dark core are boiling granules of plasma as small as the state of California or Texas. It’s a very sharp picture.

from: spaceweather.com

New Impressive Solar Flare 6/24

Monday, June 24th, 2013

M-CLASS SOLAR FLARE: Sunspot AR1778 produced an impulsive M2-class solar flare on June 23rd at 20:56 UT. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the extreme ultraviolet flash:

The eruption flung material away from the blast site, but the debris does not appear to be heading toward Earth. Except for the effects of the UV flash, which created a short-lived wave of ionization in Earth’s upper atmosphere, this flare was not geo-effective.

More flares could be in the offing. In addition to AR1778, sunspots AR1775 and AR1776 have ‘beta-gamma’ magnetic fields that harbor energy for significant eruptions. NOAA forecasters estimate a 40% chance of M-flares and a 5% chance of X-flares on June 24th.

fr/spaceweather.com

Solar Flare

Friday, June 21st, 2013

SOLSTICE SOLAR FLARE: This morning, June 21st at 03:16 UT, the sun itself marked the solstice with an M2-class solar flare from sunspot AR1777. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory photographed the extreme ultraviolet flash and a plume of material flying out of the blast site:

As sunspots go, AR1777 is neither large nor apparently menacing, yet it has been crackling with flares for days. Before it rotated over the sun’s eastern limb on June 20th, it unleashed a series of farside flares and CMEs. Today’s explosion was not Earth directed, but future explosions could be as the sun’s rotation continues to turn AR1777 toward our planet. NOAA forecasters estimate a 30% chance of M-flares and a 5% chance of X-flares during the next 24 hours.

fr/spaceweather.com

Solar FIlaments

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

AN OUTBREAK OF MAGNETIC FILAMENTS: The sunspot number may be low, but the sun is far from blank. Amateur astronomers monitoring the sun report a large number of magnetic filaments snaking across the solar disk. Sergio Castillo captured more than half a dozen in this picture he sends from his backyard observatory in Inglewood, California:

“Filaments are popping up all over the solar surface,” says Castillo. “Each one has a unique shape and length.”

The longest one, in the sun’s southern hemisphere stretches, more than 400,000 km from end to end. “It’s one of the longest filamentary structures I have ever seen,” says veteran observer Bob Runyan of Shelton, Nebraska.

If any of the filaments collapses, it could hit the stellar surface and explode, producing a Hyder flare. Filaments can also become unstable and erupt outward, hurling pieces of themselves into space. Either way, astronomers with solar telescopes are encouraged to monitor developments.

fr/spaceweather.com

6/5 Solar Activity

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

SOLAR FLARE AND CME: Southern sunspot AR1762 erupted today, June 5th, producing a long-duration M1-class solar flare that peaked around 0900 UT. The explosion hurled a right coronal mass ejection (CME) into space, shown here in a coronagraph image from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory:

Because the sunspot is approaching the sun’s southwestern limb, the blast was not squarely Earth-directed. In fact, it might miss us altogether. Stay tuned for further analysis of the trajectory of the CME.

Meanwhile, more eruptions could be in the offing. AR1762 has a ‘beta-gamma-delta’ magnetic field that harbors energy for X-flares much stronger than the M1-class event that occured this morning.

fr/spaceweather.com

Geomagnetic Storm

Saturday, June 1st, 2013

GEOMAGNETIC STORM: A G1-class (Kp=5) geomagnetic storm is in progress following the arrival of an interplanetary shock wave on May 31st. The source of the shock is not known; it might have been a minor CME that left the sun without drawing attention to itself. The impact sparked auroras across many northern-tier US states. This photo, for instance, comes from Christopher Griffith in Baxter, Minnesota:

“I wasn’t expecting to see any lights, but right before the midnight it broke loose and the sky lit up,” says Griffith. “Sadly the clouds quickly filled in my little window, and the auroras were gone. Just thankful for what I got so see!” Elsewhere in the USA, auroras were sighted as far south as Colorado, Maryland, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Nebraska.

High-latitude sky watchers should remain alert for auroras tonight as Earth’s magnetic field continues to reverberate from the impact. NOAA forecasters estimate a 40% chance of polar geomagnetic storms on June 1st.

from:   spaceweather.com

Solar WInds

Sunday, May 26th, 2013

SOLAR WIND STORM: Solar wind is blowing around Earth faster than 600 km/s (1.3 million mph) as our planet moves through the wake of a CME that struck on May 24th. This is causing geomagnetic unrest around the poles.

from:   spaceweather.com

New CME 5/22

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

M5-CLASS EXPLOSION: The ongoing radiation storm got started on May 22nd when the magnetic canopy of sunspot AR1745 exploded. The blast produced an M5-class solar flare and hurled a magnificent CME over the sun’s western limb:


Credit: the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO)

The movie of the CME is very “snowy.” That is caused by high-energy solar protons striking the CCD camera in SOHO’s coronagraph. Each strike produces a brief snow-like speckle in the image. This hailstorm of solar protons is what forecasters mean by “radiation storm.”

Although the explosion was not squarely Earth-directed, the CME will likely be geoeffective. The expanding cloud appears set to deliver a glancing blow to Earth’s magnetic field on May 24th around 1200 UT. According to NOAA forecast models, the impact will more than double the solar wind plasma density around Earth and boost the solar wind speed to ~600 km/s.

from:    spaceweather.com

Incoming CME

Saturday, May 18th, 2013

ANOTHER INCOMING CME: As Earth’s magnetic field reverberates from one CME strike, a second more potent CME is on the way. It was propelled in our direction by sunspot AR1748, which unleashed an M3-class solar flare on May 17th (0858 UT). Although this is not the strongest flare we’ve seen from AR1748, it could be the most geoeffective; the sunspot was almost-squarely facing Earth when the blast occurred. NOAA forecasters estimate a 75% chance of polar geomagnetic storms when the cloud arrives.

The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory took this picture of the CME leaving the sun at 1500 km/s (3.4 million mph) on May 17th:

In the video, the CME appears to hit Mercury, but it does not. It is merely passing in front of the innermost planet. The planet in the line of fire is actually Earth.

from:    spaceweather.com