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

Further kindly click here to read FAQ'S which were prepared in 2010 . 

Click here  To another article prepared in 2010 August. 

These were the headlines in last 24 hours which are making rounds. 

INCOMING! Sun Blasts Another CME at Earth and Mars (Discovery news)                                           Sun hurls strong geomagnetic storm toward Earth (Reuters)                                                                        Sun erupts with biggest storm in seven years (msnbc) 

Here is the animation compiled two years ago explains what will happen on 24 jan