Thursday, February 23, 2012

CME From Filament Channel Eruption

   A CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) can be seen on STEREO A and B this evening. The source is a Filament Channel in the Northeast region of the solar disk. This filament became unstable earlier today and finally ejected this evening at around 23:24 UTC Feb 23, 2012.
Most of the ejected mater looks to be directed to the Northwest and not Earth directed. More data is needed to decide for sure. Please check back for updates

Update 18:57 UTC Feb 24, 2012 :
 In the most recent SDO images, it appears that the ejection of this filament, has caused a destabilization
around the filament's southern base.
This destabilization on the solar surface caused a solar tsunami and a CME.This event is ongoing.

More updates on the way!

   Here on the most recent STEREO B image, we can see on the right hand side the beginning of the 2nd CME we mentioned above. This CME does appear to be Earth directed. A bit more review of data is needed to be sure. reports on this event:
SOLAR TSUNAMI: Tangled magnetic fields on the sun's NW limb erupted today, February 23th, producing a solar tsunami. You can see the shadowy yet powerful wave rippling away from the blast site in this move from the Solar Dynamics Observatory: (video at link)
The wave is subtle. If you didn't see it the first time, watch the movie again and look for regions on the solar surface that light up as the wave passes by. The nearly transparent ripple of plasma and magnetism was probably ~100,000 km high and, racing outward at a typical speed of 250 km/s, packed as much energy as 2.4 million megatons of TNT (1029 ergs). On the scale of the sun, it doesn't look like much, but you wouldn't want to run into one on Earth.

From SDIC:
The CME was first seen in LASCO C2 at 3:42 UT. It is a full halo CME (including the shock) and is expected to be geoeffective. The CME is nicely visible in COR2-B data as well where we derived a speed of around 500 km/s. SDO/AIA images show that this CME is the result from a large filament located in the north-eastern hemisphere, that erupted late on the 23rd. Dimmings and nice
post-eruptive loops are visible. We expect geomagnetic active to minor
storm conditions on Monday 27/2 when the arrival of the CME is expected.

Update Feb 26, 2012 - 05:03 UTC

New arrival time set for the expected CME from the above event
Arrival time now - Feb 26th around 13:30 UTC

CME TARGETS EARTH, MARS: A coronal mass ejection (CME) launched from the sun on Feb. 24th appears set to hit both Earth and Mars. According to analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab, the cloud should reach Earth today, Feb. 26th around 1330 UT, followed by Mars two days later.
The cloud's impact could spark a G2-class geomagnetic storm, so high latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras. Aurora alerts: text, voice.
If the forecast is correct, the CME could also hit NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Feb. 27th. The rover, en route to the red planet onboard the Mars Science Lab spacecraft, is equipped with a radiation sensor that could detect energetic particles accelerated by the CME's passage. Indeed, this has happened before.
The CME was hurled into space by a filament of magnetism, which rose up from the sun's northestern limb and erupted on Feb. 24th: SDO movie. Although much of the cloud headed north, out of the plane of the planets, the cloud's lower edge will dip down low enough to intersect Earth, Curiosity, and Mars

right now it is 05:03 UTC
so this CME is expected in about 8-9 hours
(Sunday Feb 26th @ 8-9am EST)

   On Feb 26th-27th we are also expecting the arrival of a coronal hole wind from southern coronal hole CH502 as well as wind from the newly formed coronal hole CH504

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