CME IMPACT: geomagnetic storm underway

From Spaceweather:

CME IMPACT: As expected, a coronal mass ejection (CME) hit Earth’s magnetic field on Sept. 3rd at approximately 1200 UT (5 am PDT).  The impact induced measurable ground currents in the soil of northern Scandinavia and sparked bright auroras around the Arctic Circle.  At the time this alert is being issued, a moderately strong (Kp=6) geomagnetic storm is underway.  Check for photos and updates.

STORM ALERTS:  Subscribers to our Space Weather Alert service were alerted by phone when the CME hit and when the subsequent storm began.  You can sign up for alerts at (text) or (voice).

One of these days, the CME will cause that big EMP.

Those of you in northern latitudes might want to watch for auroras tonight.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Supertradmum says:

    We are under clouds here.

  2. Bryan Boyle says:

    Well…it’s pretty much shut down the HF bands today. Might as well load my ham shack into the big dummy load under the desk, for all the contacts I’ve been able to log today. 1 from my QTH here in the Philly area to Las Vegas, and that was with full legal limit power…and only a 4/8 contact besides.

    When the sideband propagation gets tough…the tough pull out the key and start sending morse. :)

  3. Philangelus says:

    Is it possible to know how many EMPs we’ve had in Earth’s history and what magnitude they were? I’m figuring they don’t leave any kind of measurable trace behind afterward, but it would be convenient to know just how likely this kind of thing has been in the past and how large they can become.

  4. Phil_NL says:

    I suspect the really big ones might have left some sort of trace (it’s a bombardment with cosmic radiation afterall, which may cause damage on the atomic level, that’s the source of carbon-14) but AFAIK, no-one ever bothered figuring out how to do that in relation to CMEs. As for the probability: we do know the sun has a lot of ‘seasonal’ variations, the 11-year sunspot cycle being the most well-known, but longer ones are likely too. If those are also related to CMEs, prediction becomes a hazardous job till you figured out how the two interact. Not to mention that the vast majority of CMEs would miss earth altogether, so patterns would be very hard to detect cause you have so many missing datapoints.

    I’m no expert, I may be mistaken, but your question sounds to me as one of those awfully difficult to answer – important as it may be.

  5. Sissy says:

    Philangelus asked: “Is it possible to know how many EMPs we’ve had in Earth’s history”

    You might be interested in reading about the Carrington Incident of 1859 which is speculated to be the first recorded instance of an emp.

  6. Philangelus says:

    Thanks, guys! I was wondering because if they can figure out the Earth’s overall temperature from thousands of years ago, maybe they can do this too. I’ll check out the Carrington Incident.

  7. Philangelus says:

    So here’s my did-this-over-breakfast research, from the Wikipedia page on the Carrington event:

    Ice cores contain thin nitrate-rich layers that can be analyzed to reconstruct a history of past events before reliable observations; the data from Greenland ice cores was gathered by Kenneth G. McCracken and others. These show evidence that events of this magnitude—as measured by high-energy proton radiation, not geomagnetic effect—occur approximately once per 500 years, with events at least one-fifth as large occurring several times per century.

    So there’s at least a partial answer to my question. :-) TY Phil and Sissy!

  8. Sissy says:

    Your welcome, Philangelus. And that information you quoted gives me some comfort that perhaps we aren’t “due” for a really big one for quite some time (assuming the Carrington Event in 1859 was a “big one”….I wonder if it was? It sounds as if it was pretty spectacular)

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