M5 flare and a CME to the Side


A fast CME associated with an M5 flare from early September 6, 2011. The observation is from the LASCO C2 coronagraph aboard the SOHO spacecraft.

At 01:50 UT, sunspot group, AR11283, produced an M5 solar flare and CME (coronal mass ejection) from near the center of the solar disk. The CME  appears to be moving at an angle away from a path straight towards us. This means that while we may experience some impact its effects will be much less than if it was traveling straight towards us. Here is the event as observed by SDO/AIA in 2 wavelengths (131 and 211 Angstrom) along with observations of the CME in SOHO/LASCO C2 & C3 coronagraphs and the STEREO Cor2 coronagraphs from the Ahead and Behind spacecraft. It was a small to medium event and will probably have little impact on the Earth.

1 Comment

  1. Gayle Rogers says:

    Question: I have often heard that this size flare can completely disable power grids on the earth side that is facing the solar disk, that is the side of the earth facing the sun. Having also heard about the Canadian power grid that was knocked down or damaged several years back, in the early 90’s I believe, why has the USA not been hit as severely? Of course, this is a question that no one will answer, but it plagues me that it has not happened to my knowledge….