WATCH: SOLAR ACTIVITY UPDATE - Significant Earth Directed Filament Eruption/Hyder Flare/CMEs.
CHRISTMAS EVE ERUPTION: A filament of magnetism connected to sunspot AR1386 erupted during the early hours of Dec. 24th. Extreme UV-wavelength cameras onboard the Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the picturesque blast. The C5-class eruption hurled a billion-ton coronal mass ejection (CME) into space, but not toward Earth. With the cloud sailing wide-left of our planet, Christmas geomagnetic storms are unlikely. Nevertheless, this active region merits watching as it turns toward Earth in the days ahead, possibly positioning itself for the first storms of 2012.
Although, SOHO images are not showing very much, I expect the ejections to impact Earth's magnetosphere, given the high density of the solar wind. Geomagnetic instability is quite possible.
Here is the volcano and earthquake watch from the Solar Watcher.
Targeting Coronal Hole(CH490) in the Southern Hemisphere. After analysis I have isolated 24-29° Latitude. Solar symmetry to earth the best fit regions for a possible 7.0 Magnitude Earthquake are: Kermadec Islands Region, South Of Fiji Region, Salta Argentina or Santiago Del Estero Argentina.WATCH: Volcano / Earthquake Watch December 27-31, 2011.
Second watch is targeting a Southern Polar CH extending 51-69° S latitude and represents a possible risk for one or more 5.7-6.1 Magnitude earthquakes. Possible areas: Balleny Islands, Macquarie Islands Region or the South Sandwich Islands Region. OLR Anomalies this week are: Carlsberg Ridge, Bay Of Bengal, Nias Indonesia, Arafura Sea, Solomon Islands, Fiji and East Of Hawaii.
SOLAR ACTIVITY PICKS UP: Dec. 25th began with a pair of magnetic filaments erupting in the sun's northern hemisphere followed by a sequence of C-flares from sunspot 1385 in the sun's southern hemisphere. Both halves of the sun are rocking on Christmas: SDO movie. Coronagraph images from STEREO-A and -B suggest a possible Earth-directed CME. Stay tuned for updates.WATCH: SOLAR ACTIVITY UPDATE - C8.4-Class Flare.
UPDATE: GLOBAL ALERT - CMEs Target Earth's Magnetic Field, 30-40% Chance of Geomagnetic Storms!
CME TARGETS MARS, EARTH: New sunspot 1387 erupted during the late hours of Christmas Day, producing an M4-class flare and hurling a CME toward Earth and Mars. The CME is expected to deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field on Dec. 28th at 1200 UT and a direct hit to the planet Mars on Dec. 30th at 1800 UT. Using onboard radiation sensors, NASA's Curiosity rover might be able to sense the CME when it passes the rover's spacecraft en route to Mars. Here on Earth, NOAA forecasters estimate a 30-to-40% chance of geomagnetic storms on Dec. 28th when the CME and an incoming solar wind stream (unrelated to the CME) could arrive in quick succession. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras on Wednesday night.
BEAUTIFUL BLAST: After three years of deep quiet, the sun woke up in 2011. Sunspots and solar flares became commonplace again as long-awaited Solar Cycle 24 got underway. One of the most beautiful eruptions of the young solar cycle occured just this past weekend. Rogerio Marcon of Campinas SP Brasil photographed the blast on Christmas Eve: "I made a time-lapse video of the eruption," says Marcon. "What a wonderful Christmas present." While Marcon was recording the event from Earth, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory was doing the same from Earth-orbit. It was beautiful up there, too. This explosion was not Earth-directed. Next time, however, could be different. The source of the blast, sunspot 1386, is turning toward Earth, increasing the chances of a geoeffective flare in the days ahead.WATCH: SOLAR ACTIVITY UPDATE - New Sunspot 1387 Unleashed an M4.0-Class Flare/CME.
CMEs TARGET EARTH, MARS: The odds of a geomagnetic storm on December 28th are improving with the launch of two CMEs toward Earth in less than 24 hours. NASA's STEREO-B spacecraft photographed this one on December 26th. According to a forecast track prepared by analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab, the cloud should squarely strike Earth's magnetic field on December 28th at 20:22 UT (+/- 7 hours). Another CME could deliver a glancing blow a few hours earlier on the same date. The double impact is expected to spark mild-to-moderate geomagnetic storms at high latitudes. Mars is also in the line of fire. The first of the two CMEs is squarely directed toward the Red Planet--estimated time of arrival: December 30th at 1800 UT. Using onboard radiation sensors, NASA's Curiosity rover might be able to sense the CME when it passes the rover's spacecraft en route to Mars.WATCH: Solar Activity Update.
UPDATE: Scientists Warn - Massive Solar Storm 'Could Knock Out Radio Signals' Over Next Three Days!
Skywatchers will be hoping for clear skies from today because particles from a recent solar storm will slam into Earth and produce amazing Northern Lights, or auroras. On the downside, experts expect radio blackouts for a few days, caused by the radiation from the flare – or coronal mass ejection (CME) – causing magnetic storms. The flare is part of a larger increase in activity in the Sun, which runs in 11-year cycles. It is expected to peak around 2013. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center wrote: ‘Category G1 (Minor) geomagnetic storms are expected 28 and 29 December due to multiple coronal mass ejection arrivals. R1 (Minor) radio blackouts are expected until 31 December.’ Devices that depend on radio waves include GPS systems, radios and mobile phones.
A coronal mass ejection contains billions of tons of gases bursting with X-rays and ultraviolet radiation that are flung into space at around 5million mph. They are mind-bogglingly hot – around 100,000,000C. The Earth is occasionally hosed by these ejections, leading to amazing shimmering light shows. They are caused by the ionised solar particles becoming imprisoned by Earth’s magnetic field, exciting the gases in the atmosphere and emitting bursts of energy in the form of light. However, these particles can also cause magnetic storms, which in extreme cases have been known to disrupt satellites and electricity grids. In 1989, a CME was held responsible for leaving six million people in Quebec, Canada, without power. Last month one of the largest storms our star can produce was detected. Known as an X1.9 flare, it was one of the biggest seen in years. The flare was so powerful that it disrupted communications systems on earth a short time later. Another gigantic flare occurred in August - shown in the video below - but because it took place on the side of the Sun not facing Earth, there was no disruption to communications or power. - Daily Mail.
WATCH: CME Impact / Solar Watch.
Excellent information websites for solar watchers and researchers:
SOLAR MONITOR http://www.solarmonitor.org/
HELIO VIEWER http://helioviewer.org/
EARTHQUAKE REPORT http://www.youtube.com/user/EQReporter
SOLAR WATCHER http://solarwatcher.net