The solar storms started hurtling at Earth on March 6th, 2012 from a massive solar flare that pushed up anticipation of the biggest solar storm the Earth has seen since 2004. On Thursday March 8th, 2012 another solar flare started to erupt sending another round of solar storm March 2012 excitement.
These flares are expected to have the same effect on the Earth and will make the Northern Lights viewable again in parts of the world that would not normally see the Aurora Borealis. From our last article covering the Solar Flares in 2012 we provided the following information to track whether you will be able to see the Aurora in your part of the United States or the world:
“So how do you know where you can see the Northern Lights? You can actually pinpoint your geomagnetic latitude location using NOAA’s SWPC map that will show you whether you’re in the sweet spot which is as far south as 56.3 degrees. There are numerous Aurora forecasting tools and a few searches should help you to pinpoint other locations.”
NASA has released a photo of the most recent coronal mass ejection that happened from March 8th, 2012 at 11:38pm EST to March 9th, 2012 12:53am EST. The photo is provided above as our first picture and is available on NASA.gov media page as well. The image was captured using the Solar Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO).
The information released from NASA about the latest solar storm headed towards the Earth’s magnetosphere is as follows:
“On March 8, 2012 at 10:53 PM EST the sun erupted with an M6.3 class flare, and about an hour later released a coronal mass ejection (CME). These eruptions came from active region 1429 that has so far produced two X class flares, and numerous M-class flares.
NASA’s Space Weather Center models measure the CME traveling at speeds of over 700 miles per second. The CME should reach Earth’s magnetosphere, the protective envelope of magnetic fields around the planet, early in the morning of March 11.”
A big hit from our last article on the recent solar flares which you can read here was the videos we included. For your education and pleasure we are including the same videos in addition to another more recent one showing the most recent solar storm for the March 2012 activity.
One guaranteed spot you can see the 2012 solar flares hitting Earth’s atmosphere is in the videos below that we’re providing. Full footage of the Aurora Borealis is below from different locations in the world from the massive solar flares we’re getting due to the approach of the Solar Maximum.
One of the other videos we are providing is provided by NASA so that you can see the sun actually producing the 2012 solar storm heading towards our Earth. NASA describes the video as, “This movie of the March 6, 2012 X5.4 flare was captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) in the 171 Angstrom wavelength. One of the most dramatic features is the way the entire surface of the sun seems to ripple with the force of the eruption. This movement comes from something called EIT waves – because they were first discovered with the Extreme ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (EIT) on the Solar Heliospheric Observatory. Since SDO captures images every 12 seconds, it has been able to map the full evolution of these waves and confirm that they can travel across the full breadth of the sun. The waves move at over a million miles per hour, zipping from one side of the sun to the other in about an hour. The movie shows two distinct waves. The first seems to spread in all directions; the second is narrower, moving toward the southeast. Such waves are associated with, and perhaps trigger, fast coronal mass ejections, so it is likely that each one is connected to one of the two CMEs that erupted on March 6. Credit: NASA/SDO/AIA”
Space Weather has provided some interesting photos and accounts of the Northern Lights or Aurora hitting different parts of the United States that many didn’t think were possible. We are providing the links to these photos on SpaceWeather.com so that you an predict if your location might see the same Auroras this Sunday, March 11th, 2012 when the next round hits. From SpaceWeather.com, “Earth’s magnetic field is growing quiet again after two days of geomagnetic storming prompted by CME impacts.
March 9th, 2012 M6-class eruption Solar Flares
March 6th, 2012 X5.4 Solar Flares
This next video is titled: NASA | The Truth about 2012 – Solar Storms
March 7th, 2012 Aurora Borealis in Alaska
The following video is a full high definition video of Time lapse sequences of photographs taken by the crew of expeditions 28 & 29 onboard the International Space Station from August to October,2011, who to my knowledge shot these pictures at an altitude of around 350 km. All credit goes to them.