CHANCE OF MAGNETIC STORMS TODAY: A CME is heading in the general direction of Earth, and it could deliver a glancing blow to our planet’s magnetic field later today. Scroll past this SOHO coronagraph movie for storm probabilities:
NOAA forecasters estimate a 50% chance of polar geomagnetic storms. The cloud was hurled into space two days ago by an M9-class explosion in the magnetic canopy of sunspot AR2242. Although the bulk of the CME flew south of the sun-Earth line, a collision is still possible. Computer models suggest a glancing impact on Dec. 19th with magnetic reverberations lasting until the 20th. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras.