Waiting for a St. Patrick’s Day Aurora


Three snapshots of the CME from the SOHO/LASCO C2 coronagraph and NASA’s computer model.

Look at for Aurora tonight and tomorrow at high latitudes! Yesterday’s coronal mass ejection (CME) is expected to sweep past Earth in the last half of today (March 16, 2013) sometime around 18UT (+- 7-8 hours). Forecasts are from minor to strong geomagnetic storms so we will have to wait and see. Nothing for folks to worry about but it could be pretty at high latitudes.

The Ides of March CME coming our way is the one of interest. Around 5:30 UT (3/15/2013) a filament just east of AR11692 began to erupt. An associated long duration M1 flare occurred just as an SDO eclipse began. An Earth directed CME form this eruption could be seen in SOHO/LASCO C2 as well as Cor 2 for both STEREO spacecraft. This video above shows the location of the filament in SDO/AIA 304 and relative to AR11692. Then the flare is shown in the AIA 131 angstrom data and the GOES X-ray monitor. Next a close-up of the eruption shows the event before and after the eclipse using a composite of AIA 304 and 171 angstrom data. Lastly, snapshots show the Earth-directed CME in SOHO, STEREO Behind and STEREO Ahead.

credit: NASA/SOHO/STEREO/SDO, NOAA/GOES, and jhelioviewer