CME impact from X1.6 solar flare generated strong G3 geomagnetic storm and bright auroras


The Earth's magnetic field got disturbed in response to the arrival of the September 10 halo CME caused by X1.6 solar flare. Magnetometers around the world recorded a Geomagnetic Sudden Impulse at 15:55 UTC which signaled the arrival of the CME at Earth.

​Interaction with geomagnetic field has generated expected G3 (Strong) geomagnetic storm. NOAA/SWPC registered Kp=7 index at 23:02 UTC on September 12, 2014. Solar wind speed at the time was 706 km/s.

Estimated Planetary K Index shows Kp=7 level reached at 00:15 UTC on September 13, 2014 (Credit: NAA/SWPC)

WSA-Enlil forecast model shows position of plasma cloud at 00:00 UTC on September 13, 2014 (Credit: NOAA/SWPC)

Strong (G3) geomagnetic storm can trigger false alarms on some protection devices, sometimes voltage corrections may be required, surface charging may occur on satellite components at spacecraft operations, drag may increase on low-Earth-orbit satellites, and corrections may be needed for orientation problems. Intermittent satellite navigation and low-frequency radio navigation problems may occur, HF radio may be intermittent. Loss-of-lock and increased range error may occur at GPS systems. Radio blackouts reaching the R1 level are expected.

GLOBAL D-Layer absorption map (Credit: NOAA/SWPC)

CME's magnetic field failing to develop a stronger and persistent southward (negative Bz) component. Wind speed varying mostly between 600 and 700 km/s and there remains a chance that Bz could turn more permanently southward and the CME could become even more geo-effective.

Bz component, solar wind speed and dynamic pressure levels at 00:38 UTC on September 2014. (Credit: NOAA/SWPC)

Aurora displays will be likely across northern Europe and Scandinavia, and Canada and the northern USA could see some activity as well. 

Geomagnetic activity levels at 23:15 UTC on September 12, 2014 (Credit: Space Weather Canada)

Featured image: Aurora display pictured from Fairbanks, Alaska on September 12, 2014. (Credit: JN Hall via SpaceWeather Gallery)

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