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Space Weather Update - 21 February 2014

What Has Happened?


SDO image of the Sun. Image NASA/SDO

The coronal mass ejection (CME) expected to arrive last night has not turned up, although there is still a slim chance it might arrive in the next few hours. The delay in its arrival suggests that it is unlikely to cause any significant geomagnetic activity.

CMEs associated with solar flares on 20th are expected to combine, and arrive at Earth tomorrow afternoon/evening. This has the potential to increase geomagnetic activity again, making further periods of storm conditions possible for the next few days.

Assuming clear dark skies, there is still an increased chance of seeing the aurora over the weekend, following the arrival of the CMEs, particularly at high latitudes in the North of Scotland. Keep an eye on our current activity page for up to date information.



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The British Geological Survey is one of the Natural Environment Research Council's Research Centres.

CME or Coronal Mass Ejection
The eruption of a portion of the outer atmosphere of the Sun into space, caused by rapid changes in its magnetic field. Often occurs along with a solar flare.

Filament Eruption
An eruption of solar plasma (i.e. ions and electrons) associated with the upward movement of solar magnetic field lines into the corona. Filaments are usually dark against the bright solar disk but can appear bright (as 'erupting prominences') on the limbs of the Sun against the darkness of space. Filaments are often associated with CMEs.
Solar Flare
Energy released by the explosive reorganisation of magnetic fields within the Sun's atmosphere.

Solar Wind
The ever-present expansion of the Sun’s hot outer atmosphere into the solar system, which carries space weather within it.

A region of intense magnetic field in the Sun's visible outer atmosphere often associated with flares and CMEs.