Monday, January 23, 2012

New CME May Cause Aurora Tomorrow


INCOMING CME: Big sunspot 1402 erupted on Jan. 23rd, producing a strong M9-class solar flare and a fast-moving coronal mass ejection (CME).

Analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab say the CME should reach Earth on Jan. 24th at 14:18 UT (+/- 7 hr) and Mars a little more than a day later. Strong geomagnetic storms are possible when the cloud reaches Earth.

Our magnetic field is still reverberating from a CME impact on Jan. 22nd, so another blow could spark impressive auroras at high latitudes. Sky watchers in northern Europe, Canada, Alaska, and northern-tier US states such as the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin should be alert for Northern Lights.