Tuesday, September 6, 2011

SOLAR ALERT: M5.3-class solar flare heading Earth's way

This morning at 0150 UT, sunspot 1283 produced an M5.3-class solar flare. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the flash of extreme ultraviolet radiation:

Because of the sunspot's central location on the solar disk, the eruption was Earth-directed--but is a CME heading our way? Around the time of the explosion, a number of plasma clouds were already billowing away from the sun, adding an element of confusion to the analysis. Tentatively, we expect Earth's magnetic field to receive a glancing blow from a CME on Sept. 8th or 9th. Stay tuned for updates.


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