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Solar filament eruption produces Earth-directed CME

cme produced by filament eruption on january 22 2024 f

An approximately 25 degrees in length solar filament centered near S35W09 began erupting after 09:00 UTC on January 22, 2024, producing an Earth-directed CME. The estimated time of arrival is January 25.

Solar activity reached high levels on January 22 with numerous C- and M-class solar flares, primarily from active regions 3559 (beta-gamma) and 3561 (beta).

At around 09:50 UTC on January 22, a 25-degree solar filament began lifting off the Sun’s southern hemisphere, releasing a notable coronal mass ejection (CME). According to SWPC forecasters, the CME is expected to reach Earth on January 25. While this event is still being analyzed, it is possible enough plasma was ejected our way to produce G1 or stronger geomagnetic storms.

Additionally, an impulsive M5.1 solar flare erupted from Active Region 3559 (beta-gamma) at 03:31 UTC on January 23, 2024.

There were no radio emissions suggesting a coronal mass ejection (CME) was produced during the flare event. Radio frequencies were forecast to be most degraded over Australia and far SE Asia.

m5.1 drap january 23 2024 m5.1 solar flare

Active Region 3559 has a beta-gamma magnetic configuration and is capable of producing more moderate to strong solar flares. In addition, it is currently in a geoeffective position so any CMEs produced by it today and in the days ahead could be Earth-directed.

sunspots on january 23 2024
Sunspots on January 23, 2024. Credit: NASA SDO/HMI

The region was the source of numerous C- and several M-class solar flares since January 22, including M1.5 and M1.2. Active Region 3561 (beta) has also been contributing with C- and M-class flares since yesterday, including M2.0 and M3.4.

In total, there were 10 M-class solar flares from 06:22 UTC on January 22 to 08:22 UTC on January 23. All of them were produced by regions 3559 and 3561.

Periods of G1 – G2 (Minor-Moderate) geomagnetic storms are likely on January 23 due to the anticipated passage of a CME that left the Sun on January 20. Quiet and unsettled levels are expected on January 24 due to waning CME influences.

References:

1 Forecast Discussion – Issued: 2024 Jan 23 0030 UTC – Prepared by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center

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