Sunday, March 11, 2012

March 10 2012 M8 Class Flare --Sounds of Shockwaves [HD]

Sunspot AR1429 is still erupting this weekend. On Saturday, March 10th, it produced a powerful M8-class flare that almost crossed the threshold into X-territory. During the flare, New Mexico amateur astronomer Thomas Ashcraft recorded a series of radio bursts at 21 and 28 MHz:
The roaring sounds are caused by shock waves plowing through the sun's atmosphere in the aftermath of the explosion. "There is incredible complexity in the waveforms," notes Ashcraft. "This is a recording of one of the most turbulent events in all of Nature!"

In addition, the explosion propelled yet another CME toward Earth. According to a forecast track prepared by analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab, the cloud will hit our planet's magnetosphere on March 12th at 1803 UT (+/- 7 hr), possibly sparking a new round of geomagnetic storms.

After passing Earth, the CME will also hit the Mars Science Lab (MSL) spacecraft on March 13th followed by Mars itself on March 14th. Mars rover Curiosity onboard MSL might get some interesting readings as the cloud passes by.

The coronal mass ejection associated with the R2 (Moderate) Radio Blackout event from 1744 UTC March 10 (12:44 p.m. EST March 10) should start to affect Earth late on March 12 to early on March 13, with intensities lower than those observed with the events of last week; forecast specifics are still in work. Meanwhile, the Solar Radiation Storm continues its decay and is currently at the S1 (Minor) level. Region 1429 remains complex, but is showing signs of weakening. Updates as conditions warrant.
Thank you for watching

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