A mass of solar material that erupted from the Sun on October 9, 2021, reached Earth on October 12. The Earth-directed coronal mass ejection, or CME, elevated the Kp index, a measure of disturbance to Earth’s magnetic field, to 6 (moderate level). Kp index levels range from 0 (quiet) to 9 (intense).
The CME was associated with an M1.6 class solar flare from Active Region 2882 on that peaked on October 9 at 6:38 UTC (2:38 a.m. EDT). M-class flares are a tenth the size of the most intense flares, the X-class flares. The number provides more information about its strength. An M2 is twice as intense as an M1, an M3 is three times as intense, etc. The flare also generated a solar energetic particle eruption that was detected by NASAEstablished in 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an independent agency of the United States Federal Government that succeeded the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). It is responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. It’s vision is “To discover and expand knowledge for the benefit of humanity.””>NASA’s Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory-Ahead, or STEREO-A spacecraft, at 7:51 UTC (3:51 a.m. EDT).
STEREO-A also detected the CME from its vantage point away from Earth. The CME’s initial speed was estimated by NASA’s Moon to MarsMars is the second smallest planet in our solar system and the fourth planet from the sun. Iron oxide is prevalent in Mars’ surface resulting in its reddish color and its nickname “The Red Planet.” Mars’ name comes from the Roman god of war.”>Mars Space Weather Operations Office to be approximately 983 kilometers per second (610 miles per second). This and other information about the event is reported in the Space Weather Database Of Notifications, Knowledge, Information (DONKI) catalog.
NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center is the official source for space weather forecasts, watches, warnings, and alerts. Visit http://spaceweather.gov for information about potential impacts from this event.