Fire in the Sky
Thu, 08 Mar 2012 21:53 UTC
Update: As March 9th unfolds, conditions in the wake of the CME are becoming favorable for stronger geomagnetic storming. These auroras appeared over Faskrudsfjordur, Iceland:
High-latitude sky watchers should remain alert for auroras as Earth's magnetic field continues to reverberate from the CME impact.
Reports of a "bright light" and an "orange glow" were received by police across Scotland and the north of England around 9.40pm yesterday.
The Met Office tweeted: "Hi All, for anyone seeing something in the night sky, we believe it was a meteorite."
The Kielder Observatory also reported the sighting of a "huge fireball" travelling from north to south over Northumberland at 9.41pm.
The Observatory posted on Twitter: "Of 30 years observing the sky £fireball best thing I have ever seen period."
Meteors are particles from space that burn up in a streak of light as they enter the Earth's atmosphere, whereas meteorites are larger objects that survive the trip and reach the surface of the Earth.
|Discovery Date:||January 13, 2012|
|Discoverer:||Alan Watson (STEREO-B spacecraft)|
Wed, 07 Mar 2012 08:22 UTC
Both of the huge flares ranked as X-class storms, the strongest type of solar flares the sun can have. They followed several weaker, but still powerful, sun storms on Tuesday and came just days after another major solar flare on Sunday night.
The first big solar storm was also the most powerful one, ranking as an X5.4-class flare after erupting at 7:02 p.m. EST (0002 March 7 GMT), according to an alert from the Space Weather Prediction Center operated by the National Weather Service. It is the strongest solar flare yet for 2012.
The second event occurred just over an hour later, reaching a maximum strength of X1.3.
|Discovery Date:||January 26 and March 1, 2012|
|Magnitude:||19.2 mag, 19.1 mag|
|Discoverer:||Rik Hill (Mount Lemmon Survey), Alex R. Gibbs and Eric J. Christensen (Mount Lemmon Survey)|
|Discovery Date:||March 2, 2012|
|Discoverer:||R. E. Hill (Mount Lemmon)|
Tue, 06 Mar 2012 10:05 UTC
In Germany noises coming from the sky were recorded on a video camera and uploaded to YouTube, with car alarms clearly heard going off in the background.
Comment: The reader may want to check out the discussion about these strange sounds on Laura Knight-Jadczyk's FB page as well as the Forum discussion here, and this SOTT Focus by Joe Quinn: New Sott Report: Strange Noises in the Sky: Trumpets of the Apocalypse?
The Sun has been quiet recently but early today (04:13 UTC on March 5, 2012) it unleashed a powerful X1-class solar flare and coronal mass ejection. The latest estimates indicate the CME will probably miss Earth, but hit Mercury and Venus. Even so, the science team from the Solar Dynamics Observatory says that high-latitude skywatchers should still be alert for auroras in the nights ahead. There was also an M2-class eruption from the same big and active sunspot, Active Region 1429, on March 4th which produced another, wider CME that might yet intersect Earth. The cloud is expected to deliver a glancing blow to our planet's magnetic field on March 6th at 04:30 UT (+/- 7 hrs).
Check the latest forecast of the CME's arrival from the NASA Goddard Space Weather Lab, which includes a great animation.
So, what's the difference in the classes of solar flares and how could they affect us on Earth?