12:45 PM | Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) targets Earth on Saturday with a glancing blow


Despite relative calm on the sun in recent weeks, there is now an active group of sunspots called AR1504 and there was a coronal mass ejection (CME) detected on Wednesday, June 13th. All indications suggest that it was a moderately strong solar flare of rather long duration that took several hours to unfold. Long duration flares often hurl CMEs into space and it appears that this one has done just that. NOAA computer model forecasts predict that the CME will deliver a glancing blow to three planets: Venus on June 15th, Earth on Saturday, June 16th, and finally Mars on June 19th. As a result, NOAA estimates about a 30% chance for geomagnetic storms when the CME reaches Earth and high-latitude sky watchers should be on alert for auroras. While there certainly is no guarantee that northern lights will be visible this far south, at least the weather will cooperate in the Northeast US with plenty of clear skies this weekend.