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NASA Says Sunspot 1302 Continues To Turn Toward Earth

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A strong-to-severe (Kp=8) geomagnetic storm is in progress following the impact of a coronal mass ejection (CME) at approximately 8:15a.m. EDT (12:15 UT) on Sept. 26, NASA said.

According to NASA, the Goddard Space Weather Lab reported a strong compression of Earth’s magnetosphere.

Simulations indicate that solar wind plasma has penetrated close to geosynchronous orbit starting at 9am. Geosynchronous satellites could therefore be directly exposed to solar wind plasma and magnetic fields, NASA said, adding that high-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras after nightfall.

Behemoth sunspot 1302 unleashed another strong flare on Saturday morning–an X1.9-category blast at 5:40 am EDT. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) recorded the extreme ultraviolet flash.

A solar flare is an intense burst of radiation coming from the release of magnetic energy associated with sunspots. According to NASA, flares are our solar system’s largest explosive events. They are seen as bright areas on the sun and they can last from minutes to hours. We typically see a solar flare by the photons (or light) it releases, at most every wavelength of the spectrum. The primary ways we monitor flares are in x-rays and optical light. Flares are also sites where particles (electrons, protons, and heavier particles) are accelerated

Since the X1.9-flare, active region (AR) 1302 has unleashed M8.6 and M7.4 flares on Sept. 24 and an M8.8 flare early on Sept. 25. None of the blasts have been squarely Earth-directed, but this could change as the sunspot turns toward our planet in the days ahead. AR1302 is growing and shows no immediate signs of quieting down.

2 thoughts on “NASA Says Sunspot 1302 Continues To Turn Toward Earth

  • September 27, 2011 at 12:25 pm
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    Interesting, There was a loss of power in Southern California, and millions found what was possibly influenced by the same magnetic event from the Sun…a Black-out.

    Reply

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