Strong Radiation Storm
The ongoing proton bombardment continues this evening. The strong S3 level radiation storm threshold was breached. Potential impacts are listed below. Attached image by LASCO C2 captures the ongoing particle “snow storm”. This happens when energetic particles saturate the camera on board the SOHO spacecraft.
ALERT: Proton Event 10MeV Integral Flux exceeded 1000pfu
Begin Time: 2014 Jan 08 2320 UTC
NOAA Scale: S3 – Strong
Potential Impacts: Radiation – Passengers and crew in high latitude, high altitude flights may experience increasing radiation exposures. Astronauts on EVA (extra-vehicular activity) are exposed to elevated radiation levels.
Spacecraft – Single-event upsets to satellite operations, noise in imaging systems, and slight reduction of efficiency in solar panels are likely.
Radio – Degraded or episodically blacked-out polar HF (high frequency) radio propagation.
Geomagnetic Storm Watch:
A geomagnetic storm watch is in effect for the next 48 hours as the coronal mass ejection (CME) associated with the X1 flare is expected to sweep past our planet. Impact is predicted to be early to midday UTC time on January 9th (Thursday). NOAA is calling for geomagnetic storming to reach as high as the Strong G3 level. Sky watchers at mid to high latitudes should be alert for visual aurora during the next few days should the expected CME impact materialize. More updates to follow as things unfold. In the coronagraph video below by LASCO C2, energetic particles begin to saturate the on board camera following the flare event.