May 2015 – SPACE – STORM WARNING: NOAA forecasters estimate a 45% chance of polar geomagnetic storms on May 6th when a CME is expected to hit Earth’s magnetic field. The CME was propelled in our direction on May 2nd by an erupting filament of magnetism in the sun’s southern hemisphere. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras.
X-FLARE: The sun is no longer quiet. Emerging sunspot AR2339 unleashed an intense X2-class solar flare on May 5th at 22:11 UT. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured the extreme ultraviolet flash: A pulse of UV radiation and X-rays from the flare caused a strong radio blackout over the Pacific side of Earth. This map shows the extent of the blackout, which affected frequencies below 20 MHz. Mariners, aviators, and ham radio operators are the type of people who might have noticed the disturbance. The explosion also hurled a CME into space traveling faster than 1100 km/s (2.5 million mph), the expanding cloud does not appear to be heading for Earth. –Space Weather