A solar CME hit Earth’s magnetic field


IMPACT! A CME hit Earth’s magnetic field at approximately 0100 UT on Feb. 18th (8:00 pm EST on Feb. 17th). The impact was not as strong as expected considering the cloud’s X-class origin. Nevertheless, geomagnetic storms are possible in the hours ahead. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras.

A gigantic tendril of hot plasma is whipping and dancing along the sun’s northeastern limb.The plasma is barely contained by unstable loops of magnetism, and the whole structure could fly off into space later today. If it does erupt, Earth will not be in the line of fire. This solar activity is not geoeffective, merely photogenic. Readers with solar telescopes are encouraged to monitor the action. spaceweather.com

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