Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Massive Solar Flare Eruption June 7

Around 6:41 UT, the magnetic fields above sunspot [complex] 1226-7 became abruptly unstable an erupted producing a M2-class solar flare, an S1-class radiation storm, and a massive CME. The Video Below shows us this beautiful eruption. The picture below that shows where sunspots 1226-7 are; you can see other sunspots on the map as well.

You can see sunspots 1226-7 in the lower right of the Sun. They're fairly bright.
Solar physicist C. Alex Young (NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center) comments, "I've never seen material released this way before. It looks like someone kicked a clod of dirt in the air: an amazing, amazing event." If you would wish to hear Young say that in person, a video is accessible here.

Will this affect the planet? Yes, but not in a bad way. SpaceWeather.com tells us:
Although the blast was not squarely Earth-directed, it will affect our planet. The CME should deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field during the late hours of June 8th or June 9th. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras when the CME arrives.
Here is a picture from Science Daily.

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