Monday, 6 April 2015

Filament eruption - Sunday, April 5 2015 - 13:18 UTC

As Saturday turned into Sunday, the easternmost part of the large filament channel that was facing Earth erupted and launched a coronal mass ejection into space. The big question is: does this eruption have an earth-directed component?
First things first: solar activity remains low with no sunspot regions on the disk which could produce a strong solar flare. In fact, this filament eruption was associated with the largest X-ray event of the past 24 hours. A C3 hyderflare followed after the filament disappeared. Based on imagery from SDO we could conclude right away that most of the material would travel to the south-east and miss Earth, something that SOHO confirms. Coronagraph imagery from SOHO shows that the coronal mass ejection does expand to form a partial halo of more than 180 degrees but the halo does not expand to form a full halo meaning we will see a glancing blow from this coronal mass ejection at best. Based on the speed of the eruption which is estimated to be around 700km/s we can conclude that a glancing blow is possible late on Tuesday or perhaps early on Wednesday. We do have to note that only a very minor part could have an earth-directed component and this shock passage will likely not be strong enough for a geomagnetic storm.

Images: Coronagraph imagery from SOHO/LASCO C2 (left) and C3 (right) showing the coronal mass ejection associated with the filament eruption.

Solar filament eruption that caused the coronal mass ejection that's arriving tomorrow.

Coronal mass ejection, caused by the major solar filament eruption, will be bringing us a solar storm in 24 hours.