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A Strong M-class solar flare headed for Earth

August 4, 2011 Comments off

spaceweather

A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on Aug. 7th or 8th. Credit: SDO/AIA.

STRONG SOLAR ACTIVITY: For the third day in a row, active sunspot 1261 has unleashed a strong M-class solar flare. The latest blast at 0357 UT on August 4th registered M9.3 on the Richter Scale of Flares, almost crossing the threshold into X-territory (X-flares are the most powerful kind). The number of energetic protons around Earth has jumped nearly 100-fold as a result of this event. Stay tuned for updates.

INCOMING CLOUDS: At least two coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are now en route to Earth, propelled toward us by eruptions in the magnetic canopy of sunspot 1261 on August 2nd and 3rd. Analysts at the GSFC Space Weather Lab have just produced a new 3-D model of the advancing CMEs. Click on the image to set the clouds in motion below:

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