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Posted
  • Location: Milton Keynes MK
  • Weather Preferences: anything extreme or intense !
  • Location: Milton Keynes MK

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17293070

    A pair of scorching explosions on the Sun's surface is sparking the biggest magnetic storm the Earth has experienced in five years.

    Images of this region show a complex network of sunspots indicating a large amount of stored magnetic energy.

    The storm may disrupt power grids, GPS systems and satellites, and has already forced some airlines to change their routes around the polar regions.

    All this activity means there is a good chance of seeing the northern lights at higher latitudes, if the skies are clear. It may be possible to see them in the UK on Thursday night.

    Other solar magnetic storms have been observed in recent decades. One huge solar flare in 1972 cut off long-distance telephone communication in the midwestern state of Illinois.

    Image courtesy of AFP/Nasa

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    Just a few pics from early this morning at West Sands, St. Andrews  First one was 100iso eq @ f1.8 and 10 sec exposure, strong moonlight about midnight with the faintest of hint of an aurora.

    More shots here from Scotland last night. Fingers crossed again tonight as there is another predicted Kp7 ☺

    From Salon on the Isle Of Rum & The Isle Of Lewis tonight. Credit; Martin Keivers and Emma Mitchell.  

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    Posted
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)
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    Posted
  • Location: East Ayrshire
  • Location: East Ayrshire

    Data on Ace suggests a strong cme impact at 10:43am.

    The response time of land based magnetometers will roughly tell us the speed of the cme. Arrival likely beteen 11:05 and 11:10.

    Edited by GeorgeWX
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    Posted
  • Location: @scotlandwx
  • Weather Preferences: Crystal Clear High Pressure & Blue Skies
  • Location: @scotlandwx

    In the stlye of Prof B Cox, on this arrival of the CME Material, what on micro physics level is passing through each and everyones bodies just now..

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    Posted
  • Location: North Bristol
  • Weather Preferences: Thunderstorms / Sunshine / Snow
  • Location: North Bristol

    Is it too far South to expect to see anything down in Southern England? I assume it is?

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    Posted
  • Location: Shirley, Croydon, Greater London
  • Location: Shirley, Croydon, Greater London

    GEOMAGNETIC STORM IN PROGRESS - UPDATE

    Kp Index is at level 5

    Scale of G1

    Minor

    Power systems: weak power grid fluctuations can occur.

    Spacecraft operations: minor impact on satellite operations possible.

    Other systems: migratory animals are affected at this and higher levels

    post-2721-0-19311400-1331208472_thumb.gi

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    Posted
  • Location: Swallownest, Sheffield 83m ASL
  • Location: Swallownest, Sheffield 83m ASL

    Is it too far South to expect to see anything down in Southern England? I assume it is?

    We need the Bz component to start to point south to see anything really. Hopefully we may see that happen over the next few hours.

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    Posted
  • Location: East Ayrshire
  • Location: East Ayrshire

    Is it too far South to expect to see anything down in Southern England? I assume it is?

    I will only be able to say one way or the other with confidence at around 5 or 6 pm (shortly before dark), what I will say is the odds are well in your favour so be ready to move.

    We have a strong geomagnetic storm now underway due to the shock from the front edge of a fast and powerful cme. Ace recorded the Bz tilting strongly north after impact (bad news for mid-latitude aurora) but I do expect this to eventually shift south for periods once we enter the main phase of the cme passage (next 1 to 4 hours). Even brief periods of negative Bz will be good enough for intense geomagnetic storming at middle latitudes.

    I penned down some rough calculations and the speed of the impact was around 1150km/s, flippin quick!!!!

    Here is a magnetometer snapshot demonstrating the effects of a strong north Bz. Bear in mind that we are on the day-side of this storm, locations opposite the noon meridian will be experiencing severe to extreme geomagnetic storming as a result of the impact. As the day wears on the uk magnetometer should gradually record stronger storming.

    post-12654-0-95513300-1331209896_thumb.p

    Edited by GeorgeWX
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    Posted
  • Location: Swallownest, Sheffield 83m ASL
  • Location: Swallownest, Sheffield 83m ASL

    I penned down some rough calculations and the speed of the impact was around 1150km/s, flippin quick!!!!

    That's some speed George. Would the two CME's have merged into a single event or are we going to see another shock later today?

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    Posted
  • Location: Sth Staffs/Shrops 105m/345' & NW Snowdonia 219m/719'
  • Location: Sth Staffs/Shrops 105m/345' & NW Snowdonia 219m/719'

    In the stlye of Prof B Cox, on this arrival of the CME Material, what on micro physics level is passing through each and everyones bodies just now..

    Well it's a ham sandwich and a Danish Pastry for me persoanlly!! :rolleyes:

    Lets hope the skies remain clear... if only that damn moon wasn't full!!

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    Posted
  • Location: Upper Tweeddale, Scottish Borders 240m ASL
  • Location: Upper Tweeddale, Scottish Borders 240m ASL

    Latest NMM hi res cloudcover for midnight tonight:

    post-1217-0-88309600-1331213807_thumb.pn

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    Posted
  • Location: Whaley Bridge - Peak District
  • Weather Preferences: RACY, Extratropical Storm, Barocyclonic Leaf
  • Location: Whaley Bridge - Peak District

    Just a quick pic of the sun's face at around 1.45pm today. Hard to miss 1429/1430/1428

    post-8763-0-25741500-1331215448_thumb.jp

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    Posted
  • Location: Brighton, East Sussex
  • Location: Brighton, East Sussex

    My area looks pretty good cloud cover wise, I've seen the lights from Finland before and they are truly an awesome sign one of the most magical moments of my life, surely we are too far south though to see anything? Another question is what affects could this have on the stratosphere, trophosphere ect? I'm pretty new to this but keen to learn and interested on what effects it could have. (Apologies for any mistakes sent from my phone)

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    Posted
  • Location: Whitkirk, Leeds 86m asl
  • Weather Preferences: Anything but mild south-westeries in winter
  • Location: Whitkirk, Leeds 86m asl

    Latest NMM hi res cloudcover for midnight tonight:

    post-1217-0-88309600-1331213807_thumb.pn

    This suggest it should be good here.. but it's cloudy at the moment, so will wait and see
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    Posted
  • Location: Scarborough, North Yorkshire - 80m ASL
  • Weather Preferences: Tornadoey
  • Location: Scarborough, North Yorkshire - 80m ASL

    Looks like it could be close for me. But I'm about as North as you can get looking at that map without much cloud on the horizon, and a nice flat sea to look out over so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that NAM is accurate or at least overdoing the cloud if not... Camera's charged up and I hope to be out of the door for about 8pm tonight... Gonna head up the caost to Ravenscar if I can. Concerned about the brightness of the moon if this ends up in any way marginal...

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    Posted
  • Location: Whaley Bridge - Peak District
  • Weather Preferences: RACY, Extratropical Storm, Barocyclonic Leaf
  • Location: Whaley Bridge - Peak District

    The ACE satellite is currently in 'standby mode' after being sut-down to protect it from the X-5 flare passing over, this in turn has also rendered 7 models that the SWPC uses practically useless for now. Ground-data in terms of current/ionospheric measuring is all we can rely on for real-time data.

    For the UK this is at aurorawatch based in lancs. And given the data flux's, for now it seems the CME is north orientated with brief flare-ups of activity. However there is also a X-1 CME behind it, and this alone (if southward polarity) would be enough for northern parts of the UK to see the aurora.

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    Posted
  • Location: Kingdom of Fife: 56.2º N, 3.2º W
  • Location: Kingdom of Fife: 56.2º N, 3.2º W

    You are very welcome Polar Maritime. I have built up my survival supplies over a year now where budget permits and I too have got my batteries on charge right now.

    Croydon council have their emergency preparedness plans in place and are being briefed with up-to-date bulletins. I'm sure other authorities across UK are prepared or preparing.

    Actually, when I mentioned charging batteries I was refering to the camera batteries. Weather forecast is not good though so I doubt if there will much in the way of a photo op for me.

    I really don't buy any of this doomsday stuff. I'm sure my little gas camping cooker will work long enough to make a fresh brew even if the lights do go out. As for a night without soaps on TV or mobile phones . . . bliss! Now, if the big one (estimated X26 or thereby) that blasted off a few years ago was a direct hit on Earth then there might have been some real damage to satelites but we now have quite a bit of redundancy above our heads so I doubt if there would be a long term problem. Likewise with the power grids. Inconvenience yes but TEOTWAWKI? No way!

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    Posted
  • Location: East Ayrshire
  • Location: East Ayrshire

    That's some speed George. Would the two CME's have merged into a single event or are we going to see another shock later today?

    Damn right it is some speed, we haven't seen a cme impact this fast for a good few years now, because of that rapid speed we should see a reasonably long duration disturbance.

    The second eruption (X1) happened just one hour after the first (X5), and was probably travelling at around 1000km/s compared to the estimated 2000km/s for the first eruption. This morning's cme driven shock was the first disturbance arriving.. It's unlikely we will detect the second cme arriving because of current geomagnetic conditions, certainly not in any real time data. It's treading a little bit out my depth but there is the possibility of the second cme being driven forward by the alreadfy departed first blast, meaning the two events do arrive as one. It suppose it's plausible but you would need to approach someone more knowledgeable to get clarification on that.

    The ACE satellite is currently in 'standby mode' after being sut-down to protect it from the X-5 flare passing over, this in turn has also rendered 7 models that the SWPC uses practically useless for now. Ground-data in terms of current/ionospheric measuring is all we can rely on for real-time data.

    For the UK this is at aurorawatch based in lancs. And given the data flux's, for now it seems the CME is north orientated with brief flare-ups of activity. However there is also a X-1 CME behind it, and this alone (if southward polarity) would be enough for northern parts of the UK to see the aurora.

    It does look to me like Ace is still doing it's best to send us data (bless it), it doesn't appear to be in standby mode but most of it's sensors will be affected by the passing radiation storm.

    I kinda get the impression that you are attempting to play this one down i.e things are rubbish and if this other cme arrives then the northern uk might get lucky. The show is far from over and it doesnt even get dark in the UK for another 4 hours or so, screw the other cme, the one that's hitting us the now is probably good enough. Tons of energy battering our little blue ball, a good battle so far but the tide can turn at any moment.

    According to the only instrument that looks to be in operation on the Ace satellite, we have been under a mostly neutral Bz since 14:17.

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    Posted
  • Location: East Ayrshire
  • Location: East Ayrshire

    I forgot to mention that I checked out the hourly k-indices for the UK magnetometer that contributes to the official planetery K index (located in Devon). Three periods of k6 between 11am and 2pm, the 3pm value of k5 was just below the k6 threshold.

    This means that despite the fact we had a strong north Bz (so far) and despite the fact that we were located right on the noon meridian (where activity is weakest), a moderate geomagnetic storm is still being detected from the ground station in Devon.

    Edited by GeorgeWX
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    Posted
  • Location: Greenhithe, N/W Kent (home) City Of London (work)
  • Location: Greenhithe, N/W Kent (home) City Of London (work)

    Hi GeorgeWX,

    quick question, will this be firing through the night?

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    Posted
  • Location: Whitkirk, Leeds 86m asl
  • Weather Preferences: Anything but mild south-westeries in winter
  • Location: Whitkirk, Leeds 86m asl

    Sun is shining woohoo, so hopefully high chance of northern lights.

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    Posted
  • Location: Between Sidmouth and Exeter
  • Location: Between Sidmouth and Exeter

    In the stlye of Prof B Cox, on this arrival of the CME Material, what on micro physics level is passing through each and everyones bodies just now..

    Not sure how solar flares etc effect this, but you will normally have billions of neutrinos passing through you each second, mainly from the sun. (just had a look and it's actually trillions according to Wikipedia as it says 65 billion pass through a square centimetre every second!)

    Edited by Stormmad26
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    Posted
  • Location: East Ayrshire
  • Location: East Ayrshire

    Fresh data on the current cme passage has come through so we can paint a fuller picture of what's passing us.

    Peak mag field strength: 40nT

    Peak wind speed: 830km/s

    Peak wind density: 35 p/cm3

    It's likely that the current solar wind speed is between 680 and 700km/s, also to note is the rapid decay of the IMF and wind density despite wind speed remaining high.

    post-12654-0-44109500-1331230634_thumb.g

    Also that pesky Bz has persisted northward (positive) for most of the storm up to now, we have seen one period of neutral Bz that lasted around one hour and helped intensify geomagnetic storming, and two brief periods of negative Bz lasting less than 20 minutes that contributed to sub-storm activity.

    If geomagnetic conditions persist at current levels during the coming hours, then aurora may be visible as far south as 55N, particularly after periods of neutral Bz are observed on Ace.

    If we manage to see any brief periods of negative Bz on Ace this evening then aurora may become visible down to 54N during the resultant sub-storm activity. Any sustained periods of -Bz (above 30 minutes) this evening and this opportunity will extend southward and aurora may be visible from 53N. I put the chances of seeing NL from the far south of England at just 20% this evening. This is based on current conditions, the downgrading of wind speed as well as low density and weak IMF.

    How I got 1150km/s earlier today I don't know, my maths isn't the best but it still sounds right... travelling 950,000 miles in 21 minutes, converted to km/s. I'm sure the answer I got was around 1150km/s.

    Edit: to add small widget showing Bz data from the Ace satellite, this should update every minute or two.

    Posted Image

    Edited by GeorgeWX
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