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Aurora Watch! Two Solar Particle Blasts Could Start Smacking Into Earth Friday

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Posted September 12, 2014

Bim, bam, smash! The Sun hurled two clouds of particles in our general direction, putting space weather watchers on alert. There’s now a high chance of auroras on Sept. 12 (Friday), according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, with more activity possible during the weekend.

A solar blast erupts in this picture captured by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory on Sept. 10, 2014. Credit: ESA / NASA / SOHO

A solar blast erupts in this picture captured by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory on Sept. 10, 2014. Credit: ESA / NASA / SOHO

The coronal mass ejections erupted Sept. 9 and Sept. 10 from sunspot AR2158. The Sept. 10 flare packed the strongest class punch the sun has, an X-flare, which briefly caused HF radio blackouts on Earth. We have some amateur shots of the sunspot and Sun below.

Sunspot AR2158 taken on Sept. 8, 2014. Credit: John Chumack

Sunspot AR2158 taken on Sept. 8, 2014. Credit: John Chumack

“Radio emissions from shock waves at the leading edge of the CME suggest that the cloud tore through the sun’s atmosphere at speeds as high as 3,750 km/s [2,330 miles per second],” wrote SpaceWeather.com. “That would make this a very fast moving storm, and likely to reach Earth before the weekend. Auroras are definitely in the offing.”

The Sun on Sept. 8, 2014, including active sunspots. Credit: John Chumack

The Sun on Sept. 8, 2014, including active sunspots. Credit: John Chumack

Photographer John Chumack captured the Sun and AR2158 in these pictures from Monday (Sept. 8).

Source: Universe Today, written by Elizabeth Howell

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