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Strong solar storm reaching Earth

Date:
September 26, 2011
Source:
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Summary:
NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center -- the nation's official source of warnings and alerts about space weather and its impacts on Earth -- issued a warning for a strong, G3 geomagnetic storm on Earth resulting from a significant explosion from the sun's corona Saturday morning (Sept. 24, 2011). G-scale solar storms range from G1 (minor) to G5 (extreme).

GOES 15 satellite image. The fast Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) that erupted from NOAA Active Region 1302 arrived this morning at 1237Z (8:37am Eastern Time). It has kicked off moderate (G2) geomagnetic storms for low latitudes, but high latitudes are seeing severe (G4) levels of activity. Aurora watchers in Asia and Europe are most favorably positioned for this event, though it may persist long enough for viewers in North America. The bulk of the CME missed the Earth, meaning the storm intensity and duration are less than what they would have been in the case of a direct hit.
Credit: Image courtesy of NOAA

NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center -- the nation's official source of warnings and alerts about space weather and its impacts on Earth -- issued a warning for a strong, G3 geomagnetic storm on Earth resulting from a significant explosion from the sun's corona Saturday morning (Sept. 24, 2011). G-scale solar storms range from G1 (minor) to G5 (extreme).

Impacts have arrived on Earth, jolting the planet's magnetic field and triggering strong "geomagnetic storming" in some regions. Saturday's coronal mass ejection -- a burst of charged particles and magnetic field that streamed out from the sun at about five million miles an hour -- delivered a glancing blow to the planet. If it had been directed straight at Earth, the geomagnetic storming could have reached "severe" to "extreme" levels.

Geomagnetic storms on Earth can impede the operation of electrical grids and temporarily damage radio and satellite telecommunications. No impacts to the power grid, satellite or other technological systems have yet been reported yet from today's geomagnetic storm, which could persist for several more hours.

The spot on the sun that produced Saturday's coronal mass ejection remains active and is well positioned to deliver more storm activity in the next several days. NOAA's SWPC will continue to watch the active region for activity, and will continue to inform its customers -- grid operators, satellite operators, airlines and more -- about what to expect, so they can protect infrastructure and the public. Space weather can also trigger spectacular aurora (northern and southern lights). Tonight, viewers in Northern Asia and Europe have a chance of seeing aurora.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "Strong solar storm reaching Earth." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110926182029.htm>.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (2011, September 26). Strong solar storm reaching Earth. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110926182029.htm
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "Strong solar storm reaching Earth." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110926182029.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

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