Saturday, 14 December 2013

December CMEs & UK Cloud

The cloudy weather continues here for me in the UK, with any sunshine normally when i'm at work and cloudy skies on a weekend - the only time I can observe with the low sun that we have in december.  Despite the weather here on Earth the Sun keeps putting on a show; on December 12th, a pair of magnetic filaments on the sun erupted in quick succession between 0300 UT and 0630 UT. The explosions hurled a pair of coronal mass ejections (CMEs) into space. SOHO recorded the clouds racing away from the sun at approximately 1.1 million mph (500 km/s).  Although neither explosion was squarely Earth-directed, the two clouds could deliver glancing blows to Earth's magnetic field on Dec. 14th or (more likely) the 15th. NOAA forecasters estimate a 40% chance of polar geomagnetic storms when the clouds arrive.