M2 Solar Flare: Incoming CME March 9-10
UPDATE MARCH 9, 2011: FAST CORONAL MASS EJECTION: A coronal mass ejection (CME) exploded from the vicinity of sunspot 1164 during the late hours of March 7th. It leapt away from the sun traveling ~2200 km/s, making it the fastest CME since Sept. 2005. A movie of the cloud prepared by Karl Battams of the Naval Research Lab shows a possibly substantial Earth-directed component. This CME and at least one other could brush against Earth’s magnetic field on March 9th or 10th. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras.
ORIGINAL POST: Space Weather reports: INCOMING CME: The magnetic canopy of sunspot 1166 erupted on March 7th around 1400 UT, producing an M2-class solar flare and a bright coronal mass ejection (CME). The CME was not squarely directed at Earth. Nevertheless, the cloud will probably deliver a glancing blow to our planet’s magnetic field on March 9th or 10th, possibly sparking polar geomagnetic storms. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras.