Published on Mar 8, 2019
Earth is about to be sideswiped by a pair of CMEs. Maybe. The story begins on March 8th when sunspot AR2734 erupted, producing a C1-class solar flare. Associated with this event were two separate CME signatures, a western directed CME, first seen in LASCO C2 imagery at 08/0428 UTC, followed by an eastern directed CME, first seen in LASCO C2 imagery at 08/0438 UTC. NOAA analysts have modeled the eruption and come to the following conclusions: Most of the ejecta from the western oriented CME was directed upstream of Earth, with enhancement from the periphery of the CME likely early on 11 Mar. Ejecta from the second CME was projected to pass downstream of Earths orbit, with a chance for minor enhancement late on 11 Mar. G1-class geomagnetic storms are possible when these two CME's reach Earth. In recent months, geomagnetic storms have been caused mainly by streams of solar wind flowing from holes in the sun's atmosphere. CMEs, on the other hand, tend to be more effective instigators of geomagnetic storms and auroras. This is because of intense shocks and strong magnetic fields CMEs sometimes contain. Arctic sky watchers should therefore prepare for bright lights on Monday night.