CME TARGETS EARTH, AFTER ALL: On Nov. 7th, when an X-flare from AR2205 hurled a CME into space, at first it appeared that the cloud would miss Earth. Follow-up computer modeling by NOAA analysts suggests that the CME might deliver a glancing blow to our planet’s magnetic field after all. A complete forecast follows this movie of the eruption recorded by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory:
The CME left the sun traveling approximately 600 km/s (1.3 million mph) albeit not directly along the sun-Earth line. If the computer models are correct, the outskirts of the cloud should reach Earth mid-day on Nov. 10th (Universal Time). First contact could spark a G2-class geomagnetic storm on Nov. 10th subsiding to G1-class on Nov. 11th. NOAA forecasters are citing storm probabilities as high as 75%.
These storms in the forecast are mild, not extreme, so there is no danger of power outages or communications blackouts. However, the CME impact could spark some beautiful auroras around the Arctic Circle. The lights might even spill across the Canadian border into northern-tier US states such as Maine, Michigan, Minnesota and the Dakotas.