Friday, July 13, 2012

Solar Flare Sends Coronal Mass Ejection At Earth

In the last 48 hours, a strong solar flare, an X Class flare to be exact, was observed on the sun from sunspot region 1520. The image above shows 1520 as a very bring spot, indicating just how active it is at this time. Over the last 12-24 hours, it has weakened, but nonetheless remains very noticeable on the sun.

This X-Class flare did produce a coronal mass ejection, or CME. A CME involves particles from the sun being hurled out into space. Sometimes these particles are directed at Earth. When they do hit Earth, radio disruptions, GPS problems, and devices associated with radio or satellite communication can be disrupted.

The Space Weather Prediction Center, a branch of the NOAA, is predicting that the CME associated with this flare will strike Earth at roughly 8:00 AM CDT on Saturday, July 14.


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