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Reporting System

Sunspot Region 1402 Unleashes M3 Class Flare with Earth-Directed CME

EARTH-DIRECTED SOLAR FLARE: Active sunspot 1402 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. This movie from the Solar Dynamics Observatory shows the extreme UV flash:

NASA’s twin STEREO spacecraft recorded an impressive CME emerging from the blast site: movie #1movie #2. Analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab confirm that the CME is heading for Earth, and they say strong geomagnetic storms are possible (although not guaranteed) when the cloud arrives this weekend. Theiranimated forecast track predicts an impact on Jan. 21st at 22:30 UT (+/- 7 hrs). Aurora alerts: textvoice.

INCREASING SOLAR ACTIVITY CLEANS UP SAT-DEBRIS: 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. “The number of cataloged debris in Earth orbit actually decreased during 2011,” reports Nick Johnson in NASA’s Orbital Debris Quarterly newsletter.

…(Space Weather)

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January 20, 2012 - Posted by | Solar, Space | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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