This is astounding:
From the article ..
Sun Unleashes ‘Spectacular’ & Powerful Eruption
The solar storm hit its peak at about 2:41 a.m. EDT (0641 GMT), but the actual flare extended over a three-hour period, said C. Alex Young, a solar astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center who runs a website called The Sun Today, in a video describing the event.
“The sun produced a quite spectacular prominence eruption that had a solar flare and high-energy particles associated with it, but I’ve just never seen material released like this before,” Young said. “It looks like somebody just kicked a giant clod of dirt into the air and then it fell back down.”
For some fascinating discussion on this beautiful and awe-inspiring event go here.
Keep your eye on the sky tonight – if you do you might be able to see an intense auroral display as the plasma from an intense CME (coronal mass ejection) arrives to interact with the Earth’s geomagnetic field. Concerns over possible damage to satellites and electrical infrastructure appear to have been downgraded. The possibility still exists that skywatchers at lower latitudes will be able to witness the ‘northern lights’.
The Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) reported that instruments aboard NASA’s GOES-13 satellite have begun recording the effects of the storm as it nears Earth. The flare seen on video below is known as a coronal mass ejection, or CME. It occurred on Sunday morning as the sun appears to to waking up from it’s extended solar minimum. This latest calm period set a few records, including a 50-year low in solar wind pressure, a 12-year low in solar irradiance (or brightness), and a 55-year low in solar radio emissions.