M6.6 solar flare with earth-directed CME

Monday, 13 May 2024 18:46 UTC

M6.6 solar flare with earth-directed CME

Sunspot region 3664 is now close to the west limb and quieted down a bit compared to last week. Nonetheless it was the source of an eruptive long duration M6.6 solar flare (R2-moderate) that peaked at 9:44 UTC.

You'd expect the associated coronal mass ejection to be well of the Sun-Earth line but this was a very energetic and wide eruption which showed up as an asymmetrical full halo coronal mass ejection from Earth's point of view as you can see on the imagery from SOHO/LASCO below.

Due to the high ambient solar wind speed we expect that the coronal mass ejection from this M6.6 solar flare doesn't slow down too much which means it could transit the Sun-Earth gap in less than two days. We expect a possible impact late tomorrow (14 May) or early on Wednesday (15 May). The arrival of this plasma cloud will be more of a glancing blow most likely but nonetheless it could spark a minor G1 geomagnetic storm with a bit of luck.

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