LOADING...
Text Size
CME Arrival Results in Aurora Show
July 15, 2012

[image-114]

Over the July 14-15, 2012 weekend and through the early morning of July 16, Earth experienced what's called a geomagnetic storm, which happens when the magnetic bubble around Earth, the magnetosphere, quickly changes shape and size in response to incoming energy from the sun. In this case that energy came from a coronal mass ejection (CME) associated with a July 12 X-class flare. Geomagnetic storms can create aurora visible at lower latitudes than usual, and aurora were spotted in the US as far south as Missouri and Arkansas.
 


 
Sunspot 1520 Releases Strong Solar Flare and CME                                                                                07.12.12

[image-36]

UPDATE: There is a coronal mass ejection (CME) associated with the July 12 X-class flare. Rough estimates based on the data currently available -- namely observations from STEREO-B (the Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory) -- show that the CME is traveling in an Earth direction at over 850 miles per second.

[image-82]

[image-98]

Caption: This image combines two sets of observations of the sun at 10:45 AM EDT, July 12, 2012 from the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) to give an impression of what the sun looked like shortly before it unleashed an X-class flare beginning at 12:11 PM EDT. The image incorporates light in the 171 Angstrom wavelength, which shows off giant loops of solar material overlying the middle of the sun over Active Region 1520 where the flare originated. The second set of observations is called a magnetogram, which highlights magnetic fields on the sun. Together these kinds of observations can help scientists understand the magnetic properties of the sun that lead to giant explosions like flares.  Credit: NASA/SDO/AIA
 



[image-64]

An X1.4 class flare erupted from the center of the sun, peaking on July 12, 2012 at 12:52 PM EDT. It erupted from Active Region 1520 which rotated into view on July 6.

Further updates will be provided as needed.

[image-50]

What is a solar flare? What is a coronal mass ejection?

For answers to these and other space weather questions, please visit the Spaceweather Frequently Asked Questions page.

Related Link

› View Past Solar Eruptions
 

Karen C. Fox
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD

Youtube Override: 
yVmwB4AtawQ
This movie shows the sun July 11-12, ending with the X1.4 class flare on July 12, 2012. It was captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory in the 131 Angstrom wavelength — a wavelength that is particularly good for viewing solar flares and that is typically colorized in teal.
Image Credit: 
NASA/SDO/AIA
Image Token: 
[image-36]
Large sunspot region 1520 with AR1519 and AR1521 with Earth to scale for comparison.
This image taken by the Solar Dynamics Observatory's HMI instrument shows sunspot 1520 and it's regional neighbors, 1519 and 1521. Earth is shown to scale.
Image Credit: 
NASA/SDO/HMI
Image Token: 
[image-50]
SDO image of X1.4 class solar flare
Image Credit: 
NASA/SDO/AIA
Image Token: 
[image-64]
SDO's view of X1.4 class solar flare in the 304 wavelength.
This image from the Solar Dynamics Observatory shows the sun at 12:45 PM EDT on July 12, 2012 during an X1.4 class flare. The image is captured in the 304 Angstrom wavelength, which is typically colorized in red. Credit: NASA/SDO/AIA
Image Credit: 
NASA/SDO/AIA
Image Token: 
[image-82]
Combined observations of the sun just prior to today's solar flare.
Image Token: 
[image-98]
Photo of the planetary Conjunction and auroras as seen from Albany, Missouri.
Dan Bush's attempt to photograph the early morning planetary conjunction on Sunday, ended up catching some auroras as well. This photo was taken in Albany, Missouri. Image courtesy of Dan Bush.
Image Credit: 
Courtesy of Dan Bush
Image Token: 
[image-114]
Image Token: 
[image-51]
Image Token: 
[image-62]
Page Last Updated: March 10th, 2015
Page Editor: Holly Zell