GEOMAGNETIC STORM WATCH: Minor (G1) to moderate (G2) geomagnetic storms are possible on Aug. 17th when a CME is expected to sideswipe Earth's magnetic field. The CME was hurled in our direction yesterday by a "dark plasma explosion," described below. Following close behind the CME, a stream of high-speed solar wind could arrive on Aug. 18th, boosting the odds of a geomagnetic storm on that date as well.
ACTIVE SUNSPOT ALERT: Growing "sunspot AR3078 has developed a delta-class magnetic field," reports Aimee Norton, a senior research scientist at Stanford's Hansen Experimental Physics Laboratory. Earlier today, Norton created this magnetic map of the sunspot using data from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. It shows opposite polarities jostling together--an explosive mix that could trigger strong (even X-class) solar flares. Indeed, AR3078 is crackling with activity:
A series of M-class solar flares today has caused minor shortwave radio blackouts over the Atlantic Ocean and North America. Mariners, pilots and ham radio operators may have noticed unusual propagation effects at frequencies below 15 MHz especially during the hours between 1500 UT and 1800 UT."I don't know how long this will last," says Norton.