Forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center said the sun erupted Tuesday evening and the effects should start smacking Earth late Wednesday night, close to midnight ET. They say it is the biggest in five years and growing.
The magnetic storm has the potential to trip electrical power grids. Its radio emissions can disrupt global positioning systems to make them less accurate. It also could damage satellites.
Scientists said communication problems and radiation from the storm will probably force airplanes to avoid flying over the north and south poles. Colorful auroras may be more visible.
UPDATE from Space Weather.com CME IMPACT: As predicted by analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab, a coronal mass ejection (CME) hit Earth’s magnetic field at approximately 2145 UT on Nov. 28th. The impact was weaker than expected, but it still produced bright auroras around the Arctic Circle.
Click this link for spectacular photos.
Space Weather.com reports: ANTARCTIC SOLAR ECLIPSE: On Nov. 25th the Moon will pass in front of the sun, slightly off-center, producing a partial solar eclipse visible from Antarctica, Tasmania, and parts of South Africa and New Zealand. Maximum coverage occurs about 100 miles off the coast of Antarctica where the sun will appear to be a slender 9% crescent
NASA scientists say it was most likely a fireball – a fragment of an asteroid that entered Earth’s atmosphere.
“Based on the reports we heard, a bright meteor was seen over much of the western, southwestern part of the country, California, maybe a little of Arizona and Nevada, maybe more,” said Dr. Ed Krupp, director of Griffith Observatory.
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SpaceWeather.com reports: INCOMING CME: Yesterday, Sept. 14th, an eruption near sunspot 1289 hurled a CME in the general direction of Earth. Analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab expect the cloud to deliver a glancing blow to our planet’s magnetic field on Sept 17th around 04:30 UT. High-latitude magnetic storms are possible when the CME arrives.
Space Weather.com reports: This week’s sharp increase in solar activity has turned the sun into a radio transmitter. Bursts of shortwave static are coming from the unstable magnetic canopy of sunspot 1283. Tuesday in New Mexico, amateur radio astronomer Thomas Ashcraft recorded some samples at 21 MHz: listen. Radio listeners should remain alert for this kind of solar activity as sunspot 1283 continues to seethe.
ANOTHER X-FLARE: Earth-orbiting satellites have detected another strong flare from sunspot 1283. The X1.8-class event at 2238 UT on Sept. 7th produced a bright flash of extreme UV radiation and hurled an inky-dark plume of plasma into space. Click to view the movie from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory:
Space Weather.com reports: (video click here) On Sunday morning at 1145 UT, an active region on the sun’s western limb unleashed a strong M3-class solar flare. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the flash of extreme ultraviolet radiation. Although the blast site was not directly facing Earth, radiation from the explosion nevertheless ionized Earth’s upper atmosphere. This altered the propagation of radio signals around Europe, where it was high-noon at the time of the flare. “I detected a sharp change in signal levels from two radio stations on the VLF band,” reports Rob Stammes of Lofoten, Norway. More radio anmolaies were detected by Dave Gradwell in Ireland (data) and a team led by Valter Giuliani in Italy (data).
In addition to the UV flash, the explosion also hurled a CME into space: SOHO movie. The cloud is not heading for Earth, so no auroras will result from this particular event.
M-CLASS SOLAR FLARE: Sunspot 1263 produced an impulsive M3-class solar flare on August 8th at 1810 UT
M-CLASS SOLAR FLARE: Sunspot 1263 produced an impulsive M3-class solar flare on August 8th at 1810 UT. In Falmouth, Maine, amateur astronomer John Stetson happened to be observing the sun and he caught the sunspot in mid-eruption(see photo insert).
Perhaps we will get some more auroras this week,” Stetson wrote hopefully. Alas, no. Although this eruption did hurl a CME into space, the plasma cloud does not appear to be heading for Earth. Further analysis could reverse this conclusion, however, so stay tuned for updates.