CME activity continues, 30% chance of geomagnetic storm

cme-activity-continues-30-chance-of-geomagnetic-storm

Solar activity has been low and Sunspot 1450 is about to rotate onto the western limb. With Sunspot 1452 struggling to remain visible, the Earth facing side of the Sun is at risk of being spotless for the first time in over 230 days. Old Sunspot 1440 rotated onto the southeast limb and is a spotless plage.

Filament eruptions continue in the area located between Sunspot 1450 and 1452 in the northwest quadrant. Another CME was produced on Monday morning and should be directed mostly to the west. I will continue to monitor this event should there be an Earth directed component. An earlier CME from April 5 was supposed to deliver a glancing blow very early this morning, but it looks like it may have missed Earth or was too weak to notice. (SolarHam)

NOAA forecasters estimated a ~30% chance of geomagnetic storms around the poles on April 9th. That’s when a CME is expected to deliver a glancing blow to Earth’s magnetic field. The cloud was propelled in our direction by a solar filament erupting on April 5th. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras.

Joint USAF/NOAA Report of Solar and Geophysical Activity (08 Apr 2012)

Solar activity was very low. Occasional B-class flares occurred. A filament erupted from the northwest quadrant during approximately 07/1825 – 1900Z. The eruption was associated with a partial-halo CME with an estimated plane of sky speed of 690 km/s. Most of the CME mass appeared to be directed southwestward of Earth and is not expected to be significantly geoeffective. No new regions were numbered. Solar activity is expected to be very low during days 1 – 3 (09 – 11 April) with a chance for an isolated C-class flare.

The geomagnetic field was quiet. The geomagnetic field is expected to be at unsettled levels on day 1 (09 April) with a chance for active levels due to a CME passage that is expected to begin early in the day. There will also be a chance for minor storm levels at high latitudes on day 1. Field activity is expected to decrease to quiet to unsettled levels during days 2 – 3 (10 – 11 April).

Featured image: Aurora display over Ivujivik, Nunavik, Quebec, Canada (Credit: Sylvain Serre)

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