The Sun is stirring as we continue the climb toward Solar Maximum of Cycle 25. Over the past 24-hours, multiple C-flares have escaped its surface:
Earth-facing sunspot AR2816 exploded into life on April 22, producing a C3.8-class solar flare.
NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded a dramatic shock wave rippling away from the blast site:
This is a “solar tsunami.” It is a wave of hot plasma and magnetism, about 100,000 km tall, racing outward at approximately 250 km/s (560,000 mph). Such waves are usually associated with the launch of coronal mass ejections (CMEs)–and indeed, one has been observed.
Coronagraphs onboard the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) detected a CME billowing away from the sun hours after the flare — it is faint, but definitely Earth-directed:
NOAA forecasters say that G2-class geomagnetic storms are possible on April 25 as the CME hits Earth’s magnetic field.
This is visualized in the ISWA model below:
“If the geomagnetic storm occurs as predicted, auroras could dip into northern-tier US states from Maine to Washington,” writes Dr Tony Phillips over at spaceweather.com
Additionally, given the weakened state of our ever-waning magnetosphere (due to the ever-intensifying pole shift/magnetic excursion), even a minor-to-moderate impact –such as is forecast here– could produce some noticeable perturbations to communications, satellites and even the electrical grid on the ground.
Stay tuned for updates.
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Grand Solar Minimum + Pole Shift