Mar 092012
 

 

The Crystal Ball

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March 7th we predicted that a major solar flare would happen within 12-24 hours. It took 36 hours instead but an M6.3-Class flare has occurred from AR 1429 this morning. The resulting CME is directly facing Earth and will arrive  March 11th or early March 12th.   A major geomagnetic storm of Kp7 or greater will hit us potentially affecting radio, airline and GPS systems.

Mar 072012
 

The sun has hurled a 2nd X Class flare at Earth.  The flare was measured at X1.3 and was not directly aimed at Earth.  This is the 2nd X-Class flare from sunspot AR1429 in less than 24 hrs.  It is expected to reach the sometime in the next 24-48 hours and will create geomagnetic disturbances that may significantly disrupt radio and GPS systems.

Mar 062012
 
This image is a full-disk view of the X-ray Su...

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A class X5.4 solar X-ray flare has erupted from major sunspot AR1429. This flare is Earth facing and inbound. Potential radiation storms and radio interruptions are possible with this flare.

Sunspot AR1429 has already sent two CMEs into space since it began turning earthward over the weekend. Neither CME is heading directly at Earth, but both are expected to hit our planet’s magnetosphere. NOAA forecasters predict the CME’s will create a 30% to 40% chance of geomagnetic storms during the next 24-48 hours.

Jan 282012
 
Crackling with Solar Flares Flare zoom in

A powerful X2-Class flare measuring 1.8 was unleashed from sunspot 1402 last night as it was rotating away from us. The protons unleashed by the Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) are bombarding Earth right now but fortunately, the sunspot was rotating away from us at the time of the explosion so it will just miss us. Nonetheless, the Earth will see some of the affects caused from this with radio interference and GPS issues. Had this sunspot directly faced us at the point of explosion, it could have caused more substantial effects. we may continue to see more light shows similar to the ones enjoyed in the Northern latitudes this past week. Most of the effects will reach Earth January 30th/31st.

Sep 262011
 

GEOMAGNETIC STORM: A strong-to-severe geomagnetic storm is in progress (Level 8 Class M) following the impact of a coronal mass ejection (CME) at approximately 12:15 UT on Sept. 26th. The Goddard Space Weather Lab reports a “strong compression of Earth’s magnetosphere. Simulations indicate that solar wind plasma [has penetrated] close to geosynchronous orbit starting at 13:00UT.” Geosynchronous satellites could therefore be directly exposed to solar wind plasma and magnetic fields. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for Northern and Southern Lights after nightfall.

Aug 052011
 
Artist's rendition of Earth's magnetosphere.

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The last few days has brought the busiest solar activity in months. Several Class M flares (one as high as 9.0 on a 10 point scale) were Earth directed over the last 72 hours and are now arriving together.  In the past few hours, a strong disturbance in the solar wind was measured by the ACE spacecraft. Local geomagnetic measurements indicate a K=5 storm will be arriving over the next several hours. Be prepared for greater aurora displays at lower Northern latitudes, potential communication interruptions and possible earthquake disturbances.

Related stories:

CNN story on latest solar flares to hit earth

National Geographic  reports on solar flares and impact to our infrastructure