Thursday, July 12, 2012

X-Flare - Earth Facing

UPDATE, 3:30 p.m.: NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) just posted the following:

The R3 (Strong) Radio Blackout today at 12:49 EDT (1649 UTC) was accompanied by an earth-directed CME. Hampered by limited observations of the event, SWPC forecasters are now anticipating the passage of the [coronal mass ejection] around 1:00 a.m. EDT, Saturday, July 14. G1 (minor) Geomagnetic Storm activity is expected to then ensue through the rest of the day.

In short, NOAA is predicting minor effects from this space weather event - no major impacts on the power grid or satellites anticipated - although we remind you forecasting space weather is difficult and surprises are possible. Sky watchers in northern U.S. (and high latitudes) may have an opportunity to see aurora late Friday night into early Saturday morning.

Original story below . . .

X-FLARE! Big sunspot AR1520 unleashed an X1.4-class solar flare on July 12th at 1653 UT. Because the sunspot was directly facing Earth at the time of the blast, this is a geoeffective event. Stay tuned for updates about possible CMEs and radio blackouts.
NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded a flash of extreme ultraviolet radiation from the blast site.

The UV and X-ray pulse from the flare will have partially ionized Earth's upper atmosphere on the dayside of our planet, disturbing the normal propagation of radio signals. Watch the Realtime Space Weather Gallery for possible reports of sudden ionospheric disturbances and other effects.