|Space & Earth today, March 9, 2012 - the story continues.|
|posted: Mar 9, 2012|
The active region that caused all the hassle the past day, is still in an energetic
mood. It fired of another M-class light flash - solar flare peaking just after midnight
(March 09). The satellite SOHO has a front view of the Sun. It detected a plasma
cloud ejected into space. The cloud is heading towards Earth - a halo CME - with a speed of 750 km/s.
The Earth will encounter first a shock and secondly the cloud itself, probably
on March 11, early on March 12. The massy cloud has a magnetic force field embedded.
The magnetic field of the cloud is probably oriented in such a way that it will interact
very easy with the magnetic shield of Earth. If the interaction is strong,
we are heading for another strong geomagnetic storm on March 11, early March 12.
In the mean time, we are still experiencing a geomagnetic storm due to the arrival of ejected solar mass on March 08. The storm is however not strong enough to cause aurora at our latitude (Belgium).
The Earth is also under the influence of a high energy proton and electron stream. This stream of particles blinded the satellite ACE from March 07 until March 09, 18UT (the solar wind speed measurements were not reliable). The particles are visible on the SOHO/LASCO images (red image below) as spikes and dots. It gives a cloudy view.