Potential for a great display!
Written by Andy Kale   
Tuesday, 03 August 2010

There is a potential for a good auroral show tonight (Aug 3 2010). A Coronal Mass Ejection from the sun has started arriving, the effects of which are being shown by our magnetometers. This increased energy should hopefully provide some auroral displays in our area! Showers are forecast for early this evening followed by broken cloud which, if we are lucky, will permit some viewing opportunities!

From http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/:

On August 1st around 0855 UT, Earth orbiting satellites detected a C3-class solar flare. The origin of the blast was Earth-facing sunspot 1092. C-class solar flares are small (when compared to X and M-class flares) and usually have few noticeable consequences here on Earth besides aurorae. This one has spawned a coronal mass ejection heading in Earth's direction.

Coronal mass ejections (or CMEs) are large clouds of charged particles that are ejected from the Sun over the course of several hours and can carry up to ten billion tons (1016 grams) of plasma. They expand away from the Sun at speeds as high as a million miles an hour. A CME can make the 93-million-mile journey to Earth in just three to four days.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 03 August 2010 )