Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Strongest Solar Storm Since 2005 Hitting Earth | Solar Storm Warning NASA 2012

The Solar Dynamics Observatory captures an M8.7 class flare in a handout photo released by NASA January 23, 2012. The flare is shown here in teal as that is the color typically used to show light in the 131 Angstrom wavelength, a wavelength in which it is easy to view solar flares. The flare began at 10:38 PM ET on January 22, 2012, peaked at 10:59 PM and ended at 11:34 PM

Suns-northeastern-hemisphere.-AP-via-NASA

Late last night (Jan.22) at around 11 pm ET a giant, long lasting, solar flare erupted off the face of the Sun, sending a giant Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) – cloud of plasma and charged particles – squarely towards the Earth.  Detected by NASA’s sun-monitoring satellites SOHO and STEREO, the solar blast was determined to be an M9 on the Richter scale of solar flares – just shy of an X- class flare which is ranked as the most powerful. Space weather forecasters at NOAA – who keep watch for any hazardous, incoming solar storms – are expecting the brunt of the CME to slam into Earth’s magnetic field Jan.24 around 9 am EST ( 2 pm UT)   +/- 7 hours.

solar-storm_thumb

And Earth is not the only planet in its cross-hairs. Mars will get walloped too when the CME arrives there on Jan.25th.

solar-flare-R543_thumb

This handout image provided by NASA, taken Sunday night, Jan. 22, 2012, shows a solar flare erupting on the Sun`s northeastern hemisphere. (AP via NASA)

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