This morning at 1038 UT a powerful X2.6 solar flare erupted near the large sunspot 9632. A radiation storm (currently S2-class) is in progess and intensifying.The explosion also hurled a lopsided halo coronal mass ejection (CME) into space. The Earth-directed CME, pictured right in a SOHO coronagraph animation, will sweep past our planet late Tuesday or Wednesday and probably trigger geomagnetic storms. Stay tuned for updates.
"Geophysical Activity Forecast: The geomagnetic field is expected to be at major to severe storm levels beginning early on 26 September. The cme/flare event of earlier today is expected to spawn a strong disturbance expected to persist for 48 hours. The proton events currently occurring are likely to continue for the next 24 hours. The Polar Cap Absorption is expected to continue throughout the day on 25 September."