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NEWS RELEASE · 7th March 2012
Space Weather dot com
Polar geomagnetic storms are underway following the arrival of a coronal mass ejection (CME) on March 7th at approximately 0400 UT. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras.

Shortly after the CME impact, a burst of Northern Lights appeared over the US-Canadian border.

Big sunspot AR1429 has unleashed another major flare--an X5-class eruption on March 7th at 00:28 UT. As a result of the blast, a radiation storm is underway and a CME will likely hit Earth's magnetic field in a day or so.

Geomagnetic storms are already in progress at high latitudes due to earlier eruptions from the active sunspot. Last night, auroras were spotted over several northern-tier US states including Michigan and Wisconsin.

This eruption hurled a bright CME into space, shown here in a movie from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory. Although the CME is not squarely Earth-directed, it appears direct enough to deliver a glancing blow to our planet's magnetic field on March 8-9. This would add to the magnetic unrest already underway at high latitudes.

The flare also accelerated energetic protons toward Earth, triggering an S3-class solar radiation storm, in progress. Such a storm is mainly a nuisance to satellites, causing occasional reboots of onboard computers and adding noise to imaging systems.

Source Here
Shawn Malone photographed the display from the shores of Lake Superior
Shawn Malone photographed the display from the shores of Lake Superior
Sunspot AR 1429
Comment by Stuart Horner on 7th March 2012
Too bad we won't have clear skies to view the possible Aurora during the next few days.

I did get a few shots of this huge sunspot the other day with my 12.5" telescope.

Please never look at the sun directly without a safe solar filter.