THE STAGE IS SET FOR AURORAS: A minor CME struck Earth’s magnetic field on Aug. 27th (~0100 UT). At first the impact had little effect. Now, however, Earth is passing through the CME’s strongly-magnetized wake. Our planet’s magnetic field is linking up with the CME’s, setting the stage for G1-class geomagnetic storms and high-latitude auroras. Aurora alerts: SMS Text.
SOLAR TSUNAMI AND CME (UPDATED): Sunspot AR2859 erupted on Aug. 26th, producing a C3-class solar flare: movie. The flare, however, was not the main attraction. The eruption also caused a massive “solar tsunami.” Watch the shadowy wave ripple across the sun in this false-color ultraviolet movie from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory:
The expanding circular shadow is a wave of hot plasma and magnetism. Based on the time it took to reach the next sunspot, halfway around the sun, the tsunami was traveling faster than 110,000 mph.
Solar tsumanis always herald a CME, and this one was no exception. Soon after the tsunami broke, SOHO coronagraphs detected a plasma cloud leaving the sun: movie.
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