Earth Directed CME

The SOHO LASCO C2 instrument captured this image of the Earth-directed CME. SOHO's coronographs are able to take images of the solar corona by blocking the light coming directly from the Sun with an occulter disk. The location of the actual sun is shown with an image taken by SDO. Image and Captiont: ESA & NASA/SOHO, SDO

The SOHO LASCO C2 instrument captured this image of the Earth-directed CME. SOHO’s coronographs are able to take images of the solar corona by blocking the light coming directly from the Sun with an occulter disk. The location of the actual sun is shown with an image taken by SDO. Image and Captiont: ESA & NASA/SOHO, SDO

UPDATE:  The Sun has released a second CME; this one on 21 August and the current forecast is for minor geomagnetic storms levels (G1) from 21:00 UTC ON 24-August until about 06:00 UTC on 25-August.  If the forecast is correct expect an aurora so keep an eye to the sky if you can, especially at higher latitudes (towards the respective poles).

Maybe, I’ve been patiently waiting for the K-Index go up ever since this happened. Nothing much yet, there was a little blip and that’s about it. Listening to the WWV updates leads me to believe not much is going to happen either.

Looking at the bright side (no pun intended) the full moon would have probably washed out anything that wasn’t truly amazing. I am 45 deg North Latitude and points north of that or south of that Southern Latitude will have a much better chance of seeing an aurora so keep an eye out..

Still, I will keep an eye on the numbers and the sky, predictions have been wrong before!

From NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center::

On August 20, 2013 at 4:24 am EDT, the sun erupted with an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection or CME, a solar phenomenon which can send billions of tons of particles into space that can reach Earth one to three days later. These particles cannot travel through the atmosphere to harm humans on Earth, but they can affect electronic systems in satellites and on the ground.


Experimental NASA research models, based on observations from NASA’s Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory show that the CME left the sun at speeds of around 570 miles per second, which is a fairly typical speed for CMEs.
Earth-directed CMEs can cause a space weather phenomenon called a geomagnetic storm, which occurs when they funnel energy into Earth’s magnetic envelope, the magnetosphere, for an extended period of time. The CME’s magnetic fields peel back the outermost layers of Earth’s fields changing their very shape. In the past, geomagnetic storms caused by CMEs of this strength have usually been mild.
Magnetic storms can degrade communication signals and cause unexpected electrical surges in power grids. They also can cause aurora.
NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center (http://swpc.noaa.gov) is the U.S. government’s official source for space weather forecasts, alerts, watches and warnings.

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