Strongest solar storm since 2005 hitting Earth

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Posted January 23, 2012 by Johnny2x in Science

Happening today Tuesday Jan 24th 2012

Satellite TV watchers beware! Your screens might get blurry for a second or two. This report came from spaceweather.com – one of my favorite sites, I visit it daily.

Also there is a radiation storm happening right now – can you feel it?

As expected, a CME hit Earth’s magnetic field on Jan. 24th at approximately 1500 UT (10 am EST). Geomagnetic storms are likely in the hours ahead. If it’s dark where you live, be alert for auroras. Magnetic storm alerts: text,voice.

A coronal mass ejection – a big chunk of the Sun’s atmosphere – was hurled toward Earth on Sunday, driving energized solar particles at about 5 million miles an hour (2,000 km per second), about five times faster than solar particles normally travel, the center’s Terry Onsager said.

“When it hits us, it’s like a big battering ram that pushes into Earth’s magnetic field,” Onsager said from Boulder, Colorado. “That energy causes Earth’s magnetic field to fluctuate.”

This energy can interfere with high frequency radio communications used by airlines to navigate close to the North Pole in flights between North America, Europe and Asia, so some routes may need to be shifted, Onsager said.

It could also affect power grids and satellite operations, the center said in a statement. Astronauts aboard the International Space Station may be advised to shield themselves in specific parts of the spacecraft to avoid a heightened dose of solar radiation, Onsager said.

The space weather center said the geomagnetic storm’s intensity would probably be moderate or strong, levels two and three on a five-level scale, five being the most extreme.

USAToday

The radiation is mostly an issue for satellite disruptions and astronauts in space. It can cause communication problems for polar-traveling airplanes.

The Space Weather Prediction Center in Colorado observed the flare Sunday at 11 p.m. EST. Physicist Doug Biesecker (BEE-secker) said the biggest concern is the radiation, which arrived on Earth an hour later. It will likely continue through Wednesday.

Biesecker said the storm’s radiation levels are considered strong but other storms have been more severe. It is the strongest level since May 2005.

Spaceweather.com

Plasma ejected from the sun arrives Tuesday, but is not as strong. It can extend the visibility of auroras and disrupt the electrical grid.

RADIATION STORM IN PROGRESS: Solar protons accelerated by this morning’s M9-class solar flare are streaming past Earth. On the NOAA scale of radiation storms, this one ranks S3, which means it could, e.g., cause isolated reboots of computers onboard Earth-orbiting satellites and interfere with polar radio communications. An example of satellite effects: The “snow” in this SOHO coronagraph movie is caused by protons hitting the observatory’s onboard camera.

ALMOST-X FLARE AND CME (UPDATED): This morning, Jan. 23rd around 0359 UT, 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). 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, so high-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras. Magnetic storm alerts: textvoice.

JAN. 22ND CME IMPACT: Arriving a little later than expected, a coronal mass ejection (CME) hit Earth’s magnetic field at 0617 UT on Jan. 22nd. According to analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab, the CME strongly compressed Earth’s magnetic field and briefly exposed satellites in geosynchronous orbit to solar wind plasma. For the next 24 hours, Earth’s magnetic field reverberated from the impact, stirring bright auroras around the Arctic Circle. Bjørn Jørgensen observed this display from Tromsø, Norway:

more info over here

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About the Author

Johnny2x

John created the HowsYourRobot.com just because he cares about each and everyone of you. He likes science, technology, movies, and music. He also likes long walks in the park but only at night and in most dangerous park he can find AND he discovered the internet while playing in his back yard as a child. Some of this is true and some of it is not.

One Comment


  1.  

    Great write, trendy page layout, stick to the good work





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