New CME On Its Way

CME, POSSIBLY INCOMING: A coronal mass ejection (CME) might be heading for Earth. The cloud blasted away from the sun during the late hours of Jan 4th following a long-duration M4-class solar flare from big sunspot AR1944. SOHO (the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory) recorded the explosion:

The assymetric CME could deliver a glancing blow to Earth’s magnetic field on January 7th, possibly sparking G1-class geomagnetic storms. NOAA analysts are still processing the CME imagery for a more precise forecast.

Watch the movie again. There might be two CMEs in there. After the first cloud from sunspot AR1944 emerged, a second cloud was propelled off the sun’s western limb by departing sunspot AR1936. The mixture of CMEs complicates analysis of this event.