X1.8 coronal mass ejection arrival

Monday, 22 December 2014 16:00 UTC

X1.8 coronal mass ejection arrival

Another coronal mass ejection has arrived at earth, this is likely the X1.8 coronal mass ejection that was expected to miss earth. The direction of the IMF is however not cooperating and is pointing firmly north.

The speed of the solar wind increased to about 480km/s and the total strength (Bt) of the IMF increased from 15nT to 25nT which is a high value. The direction of the IMF however went north and looks to be staying there which is bad news for enhanced auroral conditions. However, should the direction of the IMF go south then we can easily see more G1 geomagnetic storming and perhaps even an isolated period of G2 geomagnetic storming. It is however vital that the direction of the IMF (Bz) turns south for an extended period of time. Below the stats as measured by ACE at the time of publishing this article.

Sky watchers from Scotland, Scandinavia, Finland and the upper United States should remain alert in the hours ahead for visible aurora if we reach G1 storm conditions around local midnight. As said, it is however vital that the IMF turns southward in order to reach the G1 minor geomagnetic storm threshold!

You can follow the impact live on our auroral activity page. Unsure what all those numbers and graphs mean? Just want to know if there is a chance to see aurora? Check out our auroral oval page!

Any mentioned solar flare in this article has a scaling factor applied by the Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC), the reported solar flares are 42% smaller than for the science quality data. The scaling factor has been removed from our archived solar flare data to reflect the true physical units.

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