Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Solar Geomagnetic Proton storms battering Earths defenses now!

Image Credit & Copyright: Bjørn Jørgensen
Explanation: What's that in the sky? An aurora. A large coronal mass ejection occurred on our Sun five days ago, throwing a cloud of fast moving electrons, protons, and ions toward the Earth. Although most of this cloud passed above the Earth, some of it impacted our Earth's magnetosphere and resulted in spectacular auroras being seen at high northern latitudes. Pictured above is a particularly photogenic auroral corona captured last night above Grotfjord, Norway. To some, this shimmering green glow of recombining atmospheric oxygen might appear as a large eagle, but feel free to share what it looks like to you. This round of solar activity is not yet over -- a new and even more powerful solar flare occurred yesterday that might provide more amazing aurora as soon as tonight.

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M9 Update/Proton Readings Up.

Uploaded by on 24 Jan 2012

CME IMPACT: As expected, a CME hit Earth's magnetic field on Jan. 24th at approximately 1500 UT (10 am EST). Geomagnetic storms are likely in the hours ahead. If it's dark where you live, go outside and look for auroras.
In Lofoton, Norway, the CME's arrival produced a surge in ground currents outside the laboratory of Rob Stammes:
"The expected CME arrived and showed up on my instruments at 15.10 UTC--a fantastic shockwave followed by a magnetic storm," says Stammes. "This could be a happy day for many aurora watchers." Aurora alerts: text, voice.
Indeed, the first auroras, post-impact, have been sighted in Scandinavia. Ashton Seth Reimer sends this picture from Longyearbyen, Norway:
"All day I was anticipating a beautiful auroral display," says Reimer. "In Longyearbyen, we certainly weren't disappointed. The display lasted for an solid hour before pushing south. I hope the rest of you enjoy the display as much as we did up here."
more images: from Jens Buchmann of Kiruna, Sweden; from Alister Chapman of Karasjok, Norway


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