EARTH-DIRECTED FLARE: Active sunspot 1401 erupted today, Jan. 19th, for more than an hour around 16:00 UT. The long-duration blast produced an M3-class solar flare and a CME that appears to be heading toward Earth. Forecasters say strong geomagnetic storms are possible when the cloud arrives during the late hours of Jan. 21st. High-latitude (and possibly middle-latitude) sky watchers should be alert for auroras this weekend. Check http://spaceweather.com for movies and updates.