Space Weather Alert

Our life giving star, the Sun, has unleashed three large filaments – one on 11 May and two on 13 May. A CME impact is expected on 16 May due to these filament eruptions. Geomagnetic conditions are expected to be at unsettled to active levels with a possibility of a moderate (G2) geomagnetic storm for the next three days due to CME impacts. With the help of the STEREO Ahead COR2 coronagraph the CME speed has been estimated to be around 500 km/s.

A CME is a large cloud of high energy particles ejected from the surface of the Sun when stored energy is suddenly released.  When the magnetic field of a CME interacts with the Earth’s magnetic field it causes a temporary disturbance know as a geomagnetic storm.

The impact of a CME will not harm humans and other life forms on Earth as we are protected by the Earth’s magnetic field. However, it can cause disturbances to our technological systems such as satellite communication, GPS navigation, HF radio communication, internet, cell phones and DStv.

The above WSA-ENLIL SOLAR WIND PREDICTION image shows the propagation paths of the CME.



Patricia Mphaphuli