PARTICLE CLOUD ON THE WAY • Geomagnetic storming is expected when this Earth-directed CME collides with the magnetic field on September 30, 2012.
(YELLOWKNIFE, NORTHWEST TERRITORIES) An Earth-directed coronal mass ejection (CME) was detected September 28 during an eruptive C3.7 solar flare event near Sunspot 1577. Skywatchers across Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut, as well as northern British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Newfoundland-Labrador, should be on alert for auroras as moderate geomagnetic storming is in the forecast for September 30 – October 1.
Despite the very bright moon, geomagnetic storms of this nature can still produce very bright and colourful auroral events. This event is likely to reach G2 (on a scale of G1-G5), with very fast solar wind speeds (300-600 km/sec) and multiple periods of energetic auroras. The initial shockwave from the CME cloud is expected midday on Sunday (+- 6 hours), which means much of Eastern Canada should watch for the first bursts of auroral activity just after sunset.
As the event continues overnight, residual effects from the shockwave will continue, and by Monday morning solar wind speeds are expected to decrease, returning to normal conditions by Tuesday evening. Periods of active auroras are likely to continue throughout the week, as it can take a few days for Earth’s magnetic field to recover from a direct impact.