Strong solar radiation and Geomagnetic storm in progress – Plasma cloud heading towards Earth
The CME that erupted late on March 4 passed ACE around 04:00 UTC March 7 (11:00 p.m. EST March 6). So far we’ve observed G2 (Moderate) levels of storming in association with that event. Conditions are currently decreasing for that event, so subsequent G2 storming is not expected at this time.
Another CME, part of the recent R3 (Strong) radio blackout event at 00:24 UTC March 7 (7:24 p.m. EST March 6) is forecast to pass ACE about a day from now and is certain to cause more geomagnetic storming.
Images of the CME from the SOHO LASCO coronograph have just backfilled so analysis is underway now to refine the prediction of arrival time and magnitude.
Finally, a Solar Radiation Storm is also in progress and levels have just crossed the S3 (Strong) threshold. Updates here as conditions warrant.
Region 1429 remains potent and subsequent activity is certainly possible.
Shortly after the CME impact, a burst of Northern Lights appeared over the US-Canadian border.
High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras!
Video by: Shawn Malone, Aurora over Lake Superior, Upper Peninsula of Michigan from LakeSuperior
The new WSA-Enlil Solar Wind Prediction is calling for an almost direct CME impact during the middle of tomorrow (March 8th). The solar wind is expected to increase to over 800 km/s and Strong Geomagnetic Storming will be possible.
Plasma cloud is Full Halo / heading this way!
(CMEs aimed at Earth are called “halo events” because of the way they look in coronagraph images. As the expanding cloud of an Earth-directed CME looms larger and larger it appears to envelop the Sun, forming a halo around our star)
Space Weather Message Code: ALTK06
Serial Number: 276
Issue Time: 2012 Mar 07 14:54 UTC
ALERT: Geomagnetic K-index of 6
Threshold Reached: 2012 Mar 07 1448 UTC
Synoptic Period: 1200-1500 UTC
Active Warning: Yes
NOAA Scale: G2 – Moderate
Potential Impacts: Area of impact primarily poleward of 55 degrees Geomagnetic Latitude.
Induced Currents – Power grid fluctuations can occur. High-latitude power systems may experience voltage alarms.
Spacecraft – Satellite orientation irregularities may occur; increased drag on low Earth-orbit satellites is possible.
Radio – HF (high frequency) radio propagation can fade at higher latitudes.
Aurora – Aurora may be seen as low as New York to Wisconsin to Washinton state.
Featured photo: Shawn Malone
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No damage predictions?
Here is another good real-time plot – of the proton flows/flux at GOES satellite. You can see the peak from the flares on the 4th, and where we should be able to see a much higher peak in the coming days… http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/rt_plots/pro_3d.html