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Swift
2011-Aug-04, 01:54 PM
The sun has been busy for the last couple of days, and at least those close enough to the poles might enjoy a show in the next day or so.

www.spaceweather.com (http://www.spaceweather.com/)


For the third day in a row, active sunspot 1261 has unleashed a strong M-class solar flare. The latest blast at 0357 UT on August 4th registered M9.3 on the Richter Scale of Flares, almost crossing the threshold into X-territory (X-flares are the most powerful kind). The number of energetic protons around Earth has jumped nearly 100-fold as a result of this event. Stay tuned for updates.

INCOMING CLOUDS: At least two coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are now en route to Earth, propelled toward us by eruptions in the magnetic canopy of sunspot 1261 on August 2nd and 3rd.

...

According to the model, Earth's magnetic field will receive a double-strike from the clouds on August 4th at 22:39 UT plus minus 7 hours. Mild to moderate geomagnetic storms are possible when the CMEs arrive.
There also is a very cool video linked to on spaceweather.com; the video animates this activity as it works its way across the solar system

bunker9603
2011-Aug-04, 03:15 PM
http://spaceweather.com/

My Bold:

Moving at an estimated speed of 1950 km/s, this CME is expected to sweep up two earlier CMEs already en route. Analysts at the GSFC Space Weather Lab say the combined cloud should reach Earth on August 5th at 13:55 UT plus or minus 7 hours: "The impact on Earth is likely to be major. The estimated maximum geomagnetic activity index level Kp is 7 (Kp ranges from 0 - 9). The flanks of the CME may also impact STEREO A, Mars and Mercury/MESSENGER." High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras.
When the article above states that "The impact on Earth is likely to be Major" in what way? Possible power outages?

Swift
2011-Aug-04, 03:57 PM
When the article above states that "The impact on Earth is likely to be Major" in what way? Possible power outages?
I would be extremely doubtful of power outages. During the last solar maximum we had a couple of strong X-class flares and those didn't cause major problems. These are strong M-class flares (one step lower), so the only people that have even minor worries are the operators of satellites (and even they won't have much of an issue).

I only posted the alert if people want to see auroras, and even then you'll likely have to be at pretty high (north or south) lattitudes. I doubt we'll see anything in either Cincinnati or Cleveland (Canada, Alaska, northern Europe in this hemisphere may have some lights). Generally, around us, a Kp = 7 is barely into the range that we'll see anything. Once we get to Kp = 8 or 9, we have a good chance.

Torsten
2011-Aug-06, 03:09 PM
We had a fair display here late last evening, at 54N.

I hadn't seen them in quite some time.

novaderrik
2011-Aug-07, 02:52 AM
i'll go outside later tonight and see if there are any auroras to see.

Swift
2011-Aug-10, 08:57 PM
An X7 class solar flare went off yesterday morning (check spaceweather.com links in above posts) but was not Earth directed. Glancing blow at best and maybe auroras for those at high lattitudes.

Swift
2011-Sep-09, 08:39 PM
The sun has been busy for the last couple of days. Should be good for auroras, at least for those closer to either pole. Here is the current info from spaceweather.com (http://www.spaceweather.com/)

A strong geomagnetic storm (Kp=7) is in progress following the impact of a CME around 1130 UT on Sept. 9th. This could be the first of several hits from a series of CMEs expected to reach Earth during the weekend. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras after nightfall.