Look to the sky in the Northern Hemisphere on May 25th to see a light show of color courtesy of the Sun.
An X-class flare has just launched from the Sun’s west limb. Impaceffect affects unknown at this time.
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.
- Powerful Solar Flare May Be Signal of More to Come (livescience.com)
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.
4AM this morning and Earth directed. An X flare is the worst type of Sun eruption possible. This is a big one traveling on a fast solar wind.
UPDATED 8-10-11: The brunt of the explosion was not Earth directed. Radiation from the flare created waves of ionization in Earth’s upper atmosphere disrupting communications at some VLF and HF radio frequencies. Any further effects will surface tomorrow and the 12th.
If you had any doubts that the sun is creating some dangerous conditions take a look at the EPA forecast for UV radiation for tomorrow:
Most of the lower U.S is off the established scale….According to the government guidelines, if you live in these areas, you should not be in the sun any longer then 10-15 minutes or you risk skin damage.