Monday, February 14, 2011

Aurora Alert 15 Feb! Sunspot Group 1158 Fires Off

Sunspot group 1158 has fired off an M Class flare. This is the first flare of any size headed towards Earth in a long time. Sunspot group 1158 has been bubbling along for a while, and fired off another M class flare this morning.

The Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) from the first flare should hit sometime between February 15 and 16, people in high latitudes (eg Tasmania and Southern New Zealand) should be on the look out for aurora. However, the Australian IPS has not yet issued a geomagnetic alert, so it might be a fizzer from the Southern hemisphere.

Aurora can occur anytime, but it is often best to look after midnight. However, due to the complexities of the interaction between the CME and the Earths magnetic field, a CME strike is not guaranteed to produce an aurora.

UPDATE: 1158 Just blasted out an X1 class flare, not sure if it was Earth directed though.

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