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.


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

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