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Complex filament eruption produced Earth-directed CME, impact expected late January 22

filament eruption january 20 2024 earth-directed cme f 0944z

A coronal mass ejection produced by a filament eruption on January 20, 2024, is expected to reach Earth late January 22, producing G2 – Moderate geomagnetic storming.

A complex filament eruption centered near S15E22 began at around 08:48 UTC on January 20, 2024, as seen in NASA SDO 304 imagery. This event produced a long-duration C3.5 solar flare which peaked at 09:34 UTC.

The subsequent coronal mass ejection (CME), first visible in LASCO C2 imagery at 09:12 UTC on January 20, appeared to have three fronts; to the east, southeast, and south-southwest.

Early analysis suggests a portion of this CME will arrive late in the UTC day on January 22.

filament eruption january 20 2024 earth-directed cme bg 0944z
Image credit: NASA/SDO AIA 304, Helioviewer, The Watchers. Acquired at 09:44 UTC on January 20, 2024

Weakly enhanced solar wind conditions are expected on January 21 due to positive polarity coronal hole high speed stream (CH HSS) influences. A stronger enhancement is likely beginning late on January 22 through 23 due to the anticipated arrival of the aforementioned CME.

As a result, SWPC issued a Geomagnetic Storm Category G2 Watch at 07:53 UTC today, with G2 – Moderate conditions expected on January 22 and 23.

Potential impacts: The area of impact is 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 Washington state.

References:

1 Product: Forecast Discussion – Issued: 2024 Jan 21 0030 UTC – Prepared by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center

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