Minor coronal mass ejection impact?

Monday, 14 December 2015 - 16:43 UTC

Minor coronal mass ejection impact?

A minor coronal mass ejection might have arrived at Earth. After 12:30 UTC, the ACE solar wind and IMF data showed a minor enhancement of the solar wind environment around Earth.

This coronal mass ejection might have come from a C5.6 solar flare on 11 December. Sunspot region 2465 was facing Earth that day and was responsible for this solar flare.

There was a gap in the coronagraph data around 11 December which made it impossible to spot any coronal mass ejections but SDO imagery did indicate that the C5.6 solar flare from 11 December could have been an eruptive event.

We have to stress that this only a minor impact but high latitude sky watchers might see enhanced auroral displays tonight. The direction of the IMF (Bz) is holding steady southward and active geomagnetic conditions (Kp4) have been reported by the NOAA SWPC. Minor G1 geomagnetic storming conditions might be possible in the hours ahead if the data continues to be favourable.

Tomorrow we should also start to see the effects of a coronal hole solar wind stream as well so enhanced auroral displays remain possible in the days ahead.

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