Solstice Flare and CME – UPDATE

Goddard Space Flight Center -(ENEWSPF)- A CME propelled toward Earth on June 21 may be moving slower than originally thought. Analysts at the GSFC Space Weather Lab have downgraded the cloud’s probable speed from 500 to 400 mph (800 to 650 km/s). Impact is now expected on June 24 at 3am EDT (0700 UT) and a weaker blow to Earth’s magnetic field is expected. Forecasters now predict a relatively mild G1-class geomagnetic storm when the cloud arrives.

Late in the evening on June 20 the sun emitted a long lasting C7.7 small class flare that peaked around 11:25p.m. EDT. A C-class flare is a relatively small flare.

The flare was associated with a coronal mass ejection that bloomed off the sun at 11:09p.m. EDT (0412 UT). The movie shown above was captured by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory spacecraft.

Preliminary NASA modeling shows the CME to be moving in Earth’s direction at almost 500 mph (800 km/s). Geomagnetic effects and possible auroras on Earth should be moderate, appearing on June 23.

Heliospheric animated models developed by the CCMC show the CME blasting by Earth.

These 3D Heliospheric animated models, developed by the Community Coordinated Modeling Center based at the Goddard Space Flight Center, show how the CME cloud might appear as it sweeps past Earth. Credit: NASA/CCMC 

What is a solar flare? What is a CME?

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