M7-CLASS Flare, right now
Just when you think things are getting quiet, the Sun says not so fast. A strong solar flare reaching M7.9 was detected around Sunspot 1429. An R2 Radio Blackout resulted on the sunlit side of the Earth. A Type II Radio Emission with a velocity of 1366 km/s was detected. It also appears that high energy proton levels are beginning to rise. Because AR11429 is now located towards the northwest limb, the chances for Earth directed Coronal Mass Ejections are not as good as compared to last week. A bright and full-halo CME was generated, but looks to be mostly directed towards the west
ANOTHER CME TARGETS EARTH: Sunspot AR1429 has unleashed another strong flare, an M6-class eruption on March 9th at 0358 UT. The blast hurled a coronal mass ejection almost directly toward Earth. According to analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab, the CME will arrive on March 11th at 0649 UT (+/- 7 hr). NOAA forecasters say the odds of a strong geomagnetic storm at that time is 50%.
The same eruption that hurled the CME toward Earth also produced a monsterous tsunami of plasma on the sun. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the shadowy but powerful wave rippling away from the blast site. The tsumani was about 100,000 km high and raced outward at 250 km/s with a total energy of about 2 million megatons of TNT. Such waves often underlie CMEs like the one en route to Earth now.
GEOMAGNETIC STORM UNDERWAY: At first, yesterday’s widely-reported CME impact produced little in the way of Earth effects. Since then things have changed. The wake of the CME was actually more effective than the CME itself in stirring up geomagnetic activity, and now a moderate geomagnetic storm is underway.