AR12113 Erupts with an M6.5 Flare

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03:11 UT – Space Weather researchers at NASA/GSFC have determined the CME may affect Mars and Spitzer as well as possibly glance Earth. The CME has an estimated speed of 725 km/s. Below is a computer model showing the CMEs propagation through the solar system. The model contains a smaller, slower CME from earlier in the day. The 2 events effectively become 1 event. The leading edge of the CMEs will reach Mars 07/13/2014 at 01:14 UT and Spitzer 7/11/2014 at 05:41 UT (plus minus 7 hours). Simulations indicate that the flank of the CMEs will reach Earth 7/12/2014 at 09:00 UT (plus minus 7 hours). The roughly estimated expected range of the maximum Kp index is 2-4 (below minor).

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18:10 UTC – An initial analysis using just STEREO Behind Cor2 gives a estimated speed of around 800-900 km/s. The event is headed away from Earth possibly in the direction of Mars and the Spitzer Space Telescope. Unfortunately, we will not have SOHO/LASCO data on the CME until later tonight. This is because we are currently not in contact with the SOHO spacecraft and so cannot download the data.

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17:40 UTC – The eruption that produced the M6.5 flare also sent billions of tons of solar plasma and magnetic field hurtling into space. This material became a coronal mass ejection or CME after it left the sun. We will have to see if any of it will brush us but it looks to be primarily directed away from Earth. Here is the eruption seen in 304 angstroms by SDO.
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16:19 UTC – An M-class solar flare is underway from AR12113.

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Here is a snapshot of the flare in the SDO/AIA 131 angstrom EUV camera.

The flare lit-up the ionosphere causing a temporary radio blackout alert, an R2 on NOAAs scale of 1 to 5. This image shows the impacted area, center over the Western Hemisphere.

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We await more data but Type IV radio emission indicates a possible Earth-directed CME.

credit: NASA/NOAA/SDO/GOES/SWPC

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