Solar Status: Solar flare unleashes Earth-directed CME

January 19, 2012CHANCE OF AURORAS: NOAA forecasters estimate a 15% to 20% chance of polar geomagnetic storms during the next 24 hours in response to a possible glancing blow from a CME. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras. Earth’s atmosphere has been puffing up in response to increasing levels of UV radiation from sunspots. This is good news for satellite operators, because a puffed up atmosphere helps clean up low-Earth orbit. Meanwhile, sunspot 1401 poses a threat for some M-class solar flares. –Space Watch
Update: EARTH-DIRECTED SOLAR FLARE: Active sunspot 1401 erupted today, Jan. 19th, between 15:15 and 16:30 UT. The long-duration blast produced an M3-class solar flare and a CME that appears to be heading toward Earth.
Solar wind
speed: 351.2 km/sec
density: 5.0 protons/cm3
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29 Responses to Solar Status: Solar flare unleashes Earth-directed CME

  1. luisport says:

    Sunspot 1402 Eruption: A major eruption is currently in progress around Sunspot 1402. A large Two-Wave (CME) is seen in the latest images and appears to be Earth directed. This Long duration event peaked at M3.2 and is still ongoing.. A minor R1 Level Radio Blackout resulted. Stay Tuned.


  2. luisport says:

    Thursday, January 19, 2012Major Event! LDE M Flare with CME

    There is currently a M3 LDE Flare in progress from sunspot region 1402
    A large Earth directed CME was associated with this Flare.
    you can see on iswa Earths proximity to region 1402 where this CME was produced
    1402 is located directly above 1401, and Earth is in direct proximity to 1401

    There was a Type II Radio Emission with this event-
    Space Weather Message Code: ALTTP2
    Serial Number: 774
    Issue Time: 2012 Jan 19 1345 UTC
    ALERT: Type II Radio Emission
    Begin Time: 2012 Jan 19 1252 UTC
    Estimated Velocity: 933 km/s


  3. luisport says:

    A type II Sweep Frequency Event was also detected. Stay Tuned to for the latest updates. Video presentation will be available soon.
    Type II and IV events are caused by slower-moving solar material propagating outward at speeds varying between approximately 800 and 1600 kilometers per second. Type II and IV radio bursts are of particular importance.

    These sweep frequency radio events are signatures of potentially dense solar material which has been ejected from the solar surface. If the region responsible for these events is well positioned, the expelled solar material may succeed in impacting with the Earth. Such an impact often causes an SSC followed by Minor to Major geomagnetic storm conditions and significantly degraded radio propagation conditions. It is therefore interesting to pay attention to events which cause Type II and/or IV radio sweep events, since they may indicate the potential for increased magnetic activity (and decreased propagation quality) within 48 hours. It should be noted, however, that predicting degraded terrestrial conditions is significantly more complex than simply observing whether the energetic event had an associated Type II or IV radio sweep. Flare position, proton spectra, flare size, event duration, event intensity and a host of other variables must be analyzed before a qualitative judgement can be made.

    It should also be noted that sweep frequency radio events are capable of producing Short Wave Fades (SWFs) and Sudden Ionospheric Disturbances (SIDs). Depending on the severity of the event, the duration of SWFs and SIDs may last in excess of several hours with typical values being approximately 30 minutes. SWFs and SIDs cause absorption of radio signals (due to intense ionization) at frequencies up to and well in excess of 500 MHz. Microwave continuum bursts can affect frequencies up to 30 GHz. Frequencies in the HF region can be completely blacked out for a period of time during intense energetic events.


  4. luisport says:

    This CME is indeed Earth directed

    EARTH-DIRECTED SOLAR FLARE: Active sunspot 1401 erupted today, Jan. 19th, between 15:15 and 16:30 UT. The long-duration blast produced an M3-class solar flare and a CME that appears to be heading toward Earth.

    NASA’s twin STEREO spacecraft recorded an impressive CME emerging from the blast site: movie #1, movie #2. Analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab confirm that the CME is heading for Earth, and they say strong geomagnetic storms are possible when the cloud arrives this weekend. Their animated forecast track predicts an impact on Jan. 21st at 22:30 UT (+/- 7 hrs).


  5. Carla Burgers says:

    I hope this flare doesn’t create a big big earthquake or vulcano eruption.
    See this site for flare status:
    Keep safe all


  6. Carla Burgers says:

    Thank you all sooo much for the incredible links ! Can anyone tell me where i can find the location standards please? Thanks so much.


  7. SeanO says:

    I’m a little concerned that as our magnetic field protection from these things is getting weaker everyday, which should go to “0” towards the end of this year, we are going to be more vulnerable to the wrath of the sun. As the magnetic negative in the north keeps moving further north towards Siberia, it is bring the 2 “0” magnetism bands closer together. This will expose us more to the sun but also create a lot of other earth changing natural disasters. If you watch the magnetic field declination video on this page, you will see that we should hit the peak towards the end of this year when the 2, “0” negative bands come together.


  8. luisport says:

    If we get another CME in the next 12 to 24 hours then lookout….it could get ugly..


  9. luisport says:

    SOLAR DOOM – This could be a big hit coming

    It seems a lot of people don’t know the finer details of Earth and CME interaction. Here you will learn what happens and why so you can see what is coming.

    A CME is an ejection of energy mostly as Protrons and Electrons. Heavier elements like Oxygen and Iron can be present as well.

    The direct impact of this energy is not the problem. It is the reconnection of magnetic fields on the night side of the Earth that may cause us issues.

    The CME, better known as an ICME (Interplanetary CME), compresses the Sun side of Earths Magnetic Field and stretches the Night side, the Tail of the field. When the tail side collapses back to Earth, incomprehensable amount of energy is released into the ionosphere. Terrawatts of power circulating the Earth. It is this that causes the potential power outages as electricity is induced across any conductive surface that isn’t grounded or shielded.

    But we get these CME’s often enough. Why is this any different? This is why……

    It was a VERY LONG duration CME release. The amount of energy fly towards us is multiplied due to this. The impacting mass is obviously larger and will result like wise against the Earths magnetic field.

    The longer duration means the tail side will endure more stretching over a longer period. Resulting in a more intense reconnection event. Meaning a LOT of energy could be inducted here on the ground.

    Do not panic, be smart. If the power goes out everywhere, and you’ll know when it is TRULY DARK w/o any light pollution, do not run into the streets.


    • J Guffey says:

      Alvin, if you post this comment, please change “My opinion is very scientific” to “My opinion is not very scientific”.

      Thanks (for everything). EP is like a lifeline to reality of things unfolding.


  10. SLK says:

    Anyone notice very loud helicopters or some kind of military aircraft flying overhead where they are? I am in Illinois and there was a super loud plane (chopper I think) that just flew overhead. Too bad I can’t depend on the news to inform me 😦


  11. Lauren says:

    It’s barely January. We haven’t even begun the solar maximum. This was an M class flare. Earth was very lucky to have dodged the X class flares late last year. I better go get supplies since there will be nothing left at grocery stores if there is a mass electric outage.


  12. luisport says:

    We had another LDE C1.5 flare that included both regions 1401 and 1402 simultaneously. The flare began at approx 21:50 UTC. Although this flare was relatively small it increased the precipitation of protons into the Ionosphere further increasing the saturation. There was also a type IV radio emmission emitted during this flare.

    Space Weather Message Code: ALTTP4
    Serial Number: 358
    Issue Time: 2012 Jan 21 0243 UTC

    ALERT: Type IV Radio Emission
    Begin Time: 2012 Jan 20 2214 UTC

    Comment: End 2012 Jan 20 2326 UTC

    NOAA now has an alert on their bulletin board for the onset of a geomagnetic storm as well.

    Space Weather Message Code: WATA20
    Serial Number: 483
    Issue Time: 2012 Jan 20 2123 UTC

    WATCH: Geomagnetic A-index of 20 or greater predicted
    NOAA Scale: Periods reaching the G1 (Minor) Level Likely
    Valid for UTC Day: 2012 Jan 23


  13. luisport says:

    Magnetic storm brought down to Earth on Sunday
    Saturday, 21 January 2012 16:44
    According to Sun Labs X-ray astronomy in the Physics Institute of Russia- on January 20, 2012 on the Sun there was one of the largest coronal mass ejections, because on the evening of January 21, 2012 streams of charged solar wind particles reach the Earth and on the Earth will begin a magnetic storm of M3.2 class, which can cause some problems with the radio communications. According to preliminary data – magnetic storm will continue from Saturday to Monday.


  14. luisport says:

    Channel eruption west limb and old region 1396 flaring Around 10:00UTC we can see a CME on STEREO images this matchs with the channel eruption on the east limb.
    We noticed another ejection around 12:28 and 14:00 UTC located off the east limb around old Region 1396.


  15. Michele B says:

    As I believe Alvin has said many times, it is not a matter of IF; it is a matter of WHEN.


  16. luisport says:

    At this time we are having a G1 Geomagnetic storm
    Storm levels are at G1 – Minor
    The Kp level is Kp4
    with Kp5 expected

    Latest NOAA Alert
    Space Weather Message Code: WARK05
    Serial Number: 737
    Issue Time: 2012 Jan 22 1231 UTC

    WARNING: Geomagnetic K-index of 5 expected
    Valid From: 2012 Jan 22 1230 UTC
    Valid To: 2012 Jan 22 1800 UTC
    Warning Condition: Onset
    NOAA Scale: G1 – Minor

    Geomagnetic conditions are ongoing
    So far, conditions peaked between 10:00-12:00 UTC today
    Solar winds topped out at speeds over 450km/sec
    Density reached 65.6 protons/cm3

    Current Solar wind
    Speed: 420.1 km/sec
    Density: 11.6 protons/cm3

    CME IMPACT: A coronal mass ejection (CME) hit Earth’s magnetic field at 0617 UT on Jan. 22nd. At first the impact did not appear to be a strong one: the solar wind speed barely lifted itself to ~400 km/s when the CME passed by. Now, however, in the wake of the CME, a dense and increasingly geoeffective solar wind stream is blowing around Earth, setting the stage for possible auroras on the night of Jan. 22nd

    Want to know what the storm levels and scales mean?

    View most solar monitors all in one place
    Read our report tracking the arrival of the Jan 19th 2012 CME


  17. luisport says:

    FROM SIDC – RWC BELGIUM Sun Jan 22 2012, 1242 UT: The Earth is currently downstream of the shock wave that arrived at ACE at 05:15 UT today. The solar wind speed is now around 420 km/s and the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) magnitude is around 20-25 nT. The north-south IMF component Bz is fluctuating between positive and negative values as the Earth is still situated in the sheath region between the shock and the ICME.


  18. luisport says:

    power outages in Rotterdam, not sure if it’s related…


  19. Yamkin says:



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