SOLAR WATCH: Sunspot 2027 Erupts With Strong M6.5 Solar Flare – Produces Massive Coronal Mass Ejection; Geomagnetic Storm Category G1 Predicted As THREE CMEs Head Toward Earth! [PHOTOS+VIDEO]

April 02, 2014 – SUN – Arriving a little later than expected, at least three CMEs are still en route to Earth. NOAA forecasters expect glancing blows to commence on April 2nd with a 60% chance of polar geomagnetic storms when the impacts begin. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras.

Imagery by SDO/EVE.

M6-CLASS SOLAR FLARE: Northern sunspot AR2027 erupted on April 2nd at 14:05 UT, producing a significant M6-class solar flare.

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the extreme ultraviolet blast:

WATCH:  Strong M6.5 Solar Flare – April 2, 2014.

 

In the movie, you can see material being hurled into space.

The rather noisy and long duration solar flare event  was associated with an asymmetrical coronal mass ejection racing away from the sun’s eastern limb that became visible soon after in STEREO Ahead imagery.

LASCO imagery.

Updated video of the CME from earlier today suggests only a very small portion of it may be directed towards Earth.
A majority of the ejected material is directed to the east and away from our planet. It would appear
that a glancing blow at best is to be expected.

An updated CME prediction model released by the Goddard Space Flight Center
shows a glancing blow impact possible by April 4th.

SUMMARY: 10cm Radio Burst
Begin Time: 2014 Apr 02 1341 UTC
Maximum Time: 2014 Apr 02 1357 UTC
End Time: 2014 Apr 02 1407 UTC
Duration: 26 minutes
Peak Flux: 3700 sfu
Description: A 10cm radio burst indicates that the electromagnetic burst associated with a solar flare at the 10cm wavelength was double or greater than the initial 10cm radio background. This can be indicative of significant radio noise in association with a solar flare. This noise is generally short-lived but can cause interference for sensitive receivers including radar, GPS, and satellite communications.

ALERT: Type II Radio Emission
Begin Time: 2014 Apr 02 1323 UTC
Estimated Velocity: 903 km/s
Description: Type II emissions occur in association with eruptions on the sun and typically indicate a coronal mass ejection is associated with a flare event.

Our planet was not in the line of fire, but the expanding cloud might nevertheless have an Earth-directed component. Only a minor glancing blow impact will be possible by April 4th. 

NOAA has issued a watch for a geomagnetic storm of category G1:


Geomagnetic Storm Category G1 Predicted

Highest Storm Level Predicted by Day:
Apr 04:  G1 (Minor)   Apr 05:  G1 (Minor)   Apr 06:  None (Below G1)

THIS SUPERSEDES ANY/ALL PRIOR WATCHES IN EFFECT

NOAA Space Weather Scale descriptions can be found at
www.swpc.noaa.gov/NOAAscales

Potential Impacts: Area of impact primarily poleward of 60 degrees Geomagnetic Latitude.
Induced Currents – Weak power grid fluctuations can occur.
Spacecraft – Minor impact on satellite operations possible.
Aurora – Aurora may be visible at high latitudes, i.e., northern tier of the U.S. such as northern Michigan and Maine.

Image of the visible solar disk on Wednesday morning..

Prior to the M6- class solar flare, solar activity during the past 24 hours was low. A pair of C3-Class solar flares were observed this morning. The first at 06:06 UTC was centered around a new active region currently forming in close proximity to region 2027 in the northeast quadrant.

The second 06:25 UTC was centered around region 2026 in the southeast quadrant. Region 2021 located near center disk has been fairly quiet and did show some minor separation between the lead and trailing sections of the group. New sunspot 2029 located to the northwest of 2027 continues to gradually expand this morning and should be monitored. All other visible numbered regions remain stable. There will remain a chance for an isolated M-Class event during the next 24 hours.

Geomagnetic activity is currently at quiet levels. Forecasters were calling for the possibility of one, and perhaps even two coronal mass ejections (CMEs) to brush past our planet, however as of this update, no incoming shocks have been detected.

SOURCES: Space Weather | Solar Ham | Solar Watcher | NOAA SWPC.

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