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Reporting System

While we were gone…

A lot happened while we were down. Sunspot 1402 decided to show its strength as it crossed over the visible corona. From the start it began shooting out M class flares, and just as it was leaving it did the same. The strongest flare it released was an X5 class flare, which produced a large CME that mostly hit Earth. On top of several other C and M class flares, the magnetic field has had to work over time on certain occasions as of late.

The volcanic situation is interesting as always, with a few new candidates appearing on the scene, with a few old timers like Etna continuing on and on.

The largest earthquake we’ve seen since we’ve been gone was a 7.4 magnitude quake that struck Mexico on the 20th, following a 6.9 that struck Japan just a few days earlier, and prior to a 6.6 that struck PNG late on the 21st. The 188 day theory did not hold true, unfortunately. The idea was that there was a megaquake separated by a 7 mag quake in this pattern, since February 27, 2010. While we did have some 6 magnitude action and a 7.4, it still isn’t enough to say that this cycle held out. I think that it may be indicative of a pattern of movement roughly every 6 months or so, but rounding it down to the day, or hour, is likely to yield no real results. That’s all at present. The equinox has come, and now shall the colours of 2012 really start to come through.

– Admin

March 23, 2012 Posted by | Seismic, Solar, Volcanic | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sunspot Region 1402 Unleashes M9 Class Flare with Earth-Directed CME

ALMOST-X FLARE AND CME (UPDATED): This morning, Jan. 23rd around 0359 UT, big sunspot 1402 erupted, producing a long-duration M9-class solar flare. The explosion’s M9-ranking puts it on the threshold of being an X-flare, the most powerful kind. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured the flare’s extreme ultraviolet flash:

The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) and NASA’s STEREO-B spacecraft detected a CME rapidly emerging from the blast site: movie. Analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab say the leading edge of the CME will reach Earth on Jan. 24 at 14:18UT (+/- 7 hours). Their animated forecast track shows that Mars is in the line of fire, too; the CME will hit the Red Planet during the late hours of Jan. 25. Aurora alerts: textvoice.

This is a relatively substantial and fast-moving (2200 km/s) CME. Spacecraft in geosynchronous, polar and other orbits passing through Earth’s ring current and auroral regions could be affected by the cloud’s arrival. In addition, strong geomagnetic storms are possible, so high-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras. Magnetic storm alerts: textvoice.

RADIATION STORM IN PROGRESS: Solar protons accelerated by this morning’s M9-class solar flare are streaming past Earth. On the NOAA scale of radiation storms, this one ranks S3, which means it could, e.g., cause isolated reboots of computers onboard Earth-orbiting satellites and interfere with polar radio communications. An example of satellite effects: The “snow” in this SOHO coronagraph movie is caused by protons hitting the observatory’s onboard camera.

…(Space Weather)

January 23, 2012 Posted by | Solar, Space | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CME from M3-Class Solar Flare Hits Earth

A coronal mass ejection expected to hit Earth’s magnetic field early Jan 22nd, has finally hit.

Due to the CME being initially delayed, NOAA forecasters decided to downgrade the chance of polar geomagnetic storms to 10% – 25%

You can be sure to expect some nice photos of aurora as the day progresses. At the time of typing this, solar winds are measuring 432.3 km/sec, with 54.5 protons per cubic centimetre, a considerable rise in proton density, but not as high as it was earlier, measuring close to 70. As well, there is a noticeable uptick of ionospheric absorption, but nothing warranting major storm conditions. The KP Index currently measures at 4, and may reach 5 from the look of things as the CME continues to strengthen and taper away. As with all geomagnetic storms, watch how the tectonic plates respond, and be aware of the aurora. One good alert system is from Space Weather – Aurora alerts: textvoice.

To view ionospheric convection, proton density, the current geomagnetic conditions, etc, please visit NICT’s Real-time Magnetosphere Simulation.

January 22, 2012 Posted by | Solar, Space | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Phobos-Grunt Destroyed, Significant CME Captured by SOHO

PHOBOS-GRUNT DESTROYED: According to the Russian space agency and the U.S. Space Command, the Phobos-Grunt spacecraft re-entered Earth’s atmosphere on Jan. 15th shortly before 1 p.m. EST. So far, no photographs of the fireball or other debris have been submitted to spaceweather.com. Initial estimates of the final ground track suggest a re-entry in the south Pacific in the broad vicinity of Australia and New Zealand.

VENUS-DIRECTED CME (UPDATED): Sunspot complex 1401-1402 erupted this morning, Jan. 16th at approximately 0400 UT, producing a C6-class solar flare (SDO movie) and a bright coronal mass ejection. SOHO recorded the expanding cloud:

Update: According to a forecast track prepared by analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab, this CME will hit Venus during the late hours of Jan. 18th. Because Venus has no global magnetic field to protect it, the impact will erode a small amount of atmosphere from the planet’s cloudtops. There’s no cause for concern, however, because Venus’s massive atmosphere will scarcely notice the loss.

The same analysis shows that the CME might deliver a glancing blow to Earth’s magnetic field around 1200 UT on Jan. 19th. The impact could cause geomagnetic activity and auroras around the Arctic Circle. Aurora alerts: textvoice.

January 16, 2012 Posted by | Solar | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment