(ORDO NEWS) — For the second day in a row, high-energy protons from a solar flare bombard the Earth. This is called a “radiation storm” (class S1), and it was caused by a huge eruption on July 28th.
The explosion site was hidden from view behind the northwestern edge of the sun. Satellites in Earth orbit registered an M4 class solar flare, but the main explosion was stronger. It was probably an X-flare partially eclipsed by the edge of the Sun.
How can a sunspot not facing the Earth send so many protons in our direction? Answer: Parker’s spiral. As the sun rotates, its magnetic field spirals, like water flowing from a spinning lawn sprinkler.
The magnetic field lines emerging from the northwestern edge of the Sun (where the explosion occurred) spiral and connect directly to the Earth. It’s a superhighway for protons.
It looks like the radiation storm will continue at S1 for at least another day.
Geomagnetic storms are possible on August 1, when the CME is expected to hit the Earth’s magnetic field. Weak G1 storms are likely to develop into G2 category. The CME was thrown almost directly to Earth by a magnetic filament eruption in the Sun’s northern hemisphere on July 28th.
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