Solar storm ALERT! Solar flare eruption hurls CME towards the Earth; Will it hit?

On September 11, Sunspot AR3429 exploded, sparking a solar flare. It hurled a CME in the direction of the Earth. But, will it hit us and cause a massive solar storm? Find out.

| Updated on: Sep 12 2023, 10:53 IST
Do all solar activities like solar storms, CME, impact Earth? This is what NASA says
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1/5 Sun is a source of energy and a lot of activities keep on happening on the fireball. But can Earth be impacted by solar activities? Before we tell you that, it is important to know what solar activity is? According to NASA, solar flares, coronal mass ejections, high-speed solar wind, and solar energetic particles are all forms of solar activity. All solar activity is driven by the solar magnetic field. (NASA)
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2/5 Solar flares impact Earth only when they occur on the side of the sun facing Earth. Because flares are made of photons, they travel out directly from the flare site, so if we can see the flare, we can be impacted by it. (Pixabay)
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3/5 Coronal mass ejections, also called CMEs, are large clouds of plasma and magnetic field that erupt from the sun. These clouds can erupt in any direction, and then continue on in that direction, plowing right through the solar wind. Only when the cloud is aimed at Earth will the CME hit Earth and therefore cause impacts. (NASA)
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4/5 High-speed solar wind streams come from areas on the sun known as coronal holes. These holes can form anywhere on the sun and usually, only when they are closer to the solar equator, do the winds they produce impact Earth. (NASA)
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5/5 Solar energetic particles are high-energy charged particles, primarily thought to be released by shocks formed at the front of coronal mass ejections and solar flares. When a CME cloud plows through the solar wind, high velocity solar energetic particles can be produced and because they are charged, they must follow the magnetic field lines that pervade the space between the Sun and the Earth. Therefore, only the charged particles that follow magnetic field lines that intersect the Earth will result in impacts. (NASA)
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Know why solar storms striking the Earth are going to turn terrifyingly violent over the next three days. (Pixabay)

Yesterday, September 11, two M-class solar flares erupted on the Earth-facing side of the Sun, and the latter of the two managed to release a large coronal mass ejection (CME) into space. According to data from NASA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), it erupted on the notorious sunspot region AR3429 that recently came into Earth's view. The CME was noted to be in the range of Earth's strike zone and could deliver a glancing blow to our planet sparking a solar storm. But will it hit?

According to a report by, the CME is unlikely to hit the Earth. It stated, “New sunspot AR3429 erupted this morning, Sept. 11th (0128 UT), producing an M1.3-class solar flare and a surge of plasma over the sun's northeastern limb. SOHO coronagraphs observed a fast-moving CME emerging from the blast site. At first, it appeared to be on the edge of the Earth-strike zone, set to land a glancing blow later this week. However, a new NASA model shows that the CME will miss Earth”.

It should be noted that none of these models can predict CME trajectories with 100 percent accuracy, however, they are mostly correct. This means that it is unlikely that this particular cloud of solar material will trouble the Earth. But if you thought that the danger from the Sun was over, you're wrong.

Solar flare eruptions continue

SpaceWeatherLive posted on X revealing another solar flare eruption that took place on the night of September 11. The flare was found to be of M1.1-class intensity, and it is unclear whether or not it lifted any CME. However, the extreme ultraviolet radiation sparked a radio blackout over large parts of North America and the entirety of South America. During this period, amateur radio operators, drone pilots, mariners, and emergency responders were likely to face disruptions in the low-frequency communication channels.

To make matters worse, another radio blackout was detected at 10 AM on September 12 over Australia, New Zealand and the eastern region of China. The origin of this is not yet known, but it is expected to be another moderate M-class solar flare. This shortwave radio blackout is currently underway and people working with low-frequency wavelengths are requested to wait till the effect of the solar radiation passes over.

As solar observatories check for any CME released during these two events, we should be able to give you updates on future solar storms in due time.

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First Published Date: 12 Sep, 10:53 IST