SUN Blasts/Erupts - CME Hurled towards Earth - Geomagnetic Storm Jan 2012 - Biggest in 7 Years
Latest Update at 25 Jan 9.20 a.m IST: As expected, a CME hit Earth's magnetic field on Jan. 24th at approximately 8.30 p.m. IST (1500 UTC). The impact produced a G1-class geomagnetic storm and bright auroras around the Arctic Circle. The storm is subsiding now.
On Jan. 23rd around 6.a.m. IST (0359 U)T, big sunspot 1402 erupted, producing a long-duration M9-class solar flare. The explosion's M9-ranking puts it on the threshold of being an X-flare, the most powerful kind. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured the flare's extreme ultraviolet flash.
The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) and NASA's STEREO-B spacecraft detected a CME rapidly emerging from the blast site: movie.
Analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab say the leading edge of the CME will reach Earth on Jan. 24 at 14:18UT (+/- 7 hours) i.e. 7.48 pm (+ or - 7 hours). Their animated forecast track shows that Mars is in the line of fire, too; the CME will hit the Red Planet during the late hours of Jan. 25.
This is a relatively substantial and fast-moving (2200 km/s) CME. Spacecraft in geosynchronous, polar and other orbits passing through Earth's ring current and auroral regions could be affected by the cloud's arrival. In addition, strong geomagnetic storms are possible
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