In Lofoton, Norway, the CME's arrival produced a surge in ground currents outside the laboratory of Rob Stammes:
"The expected CME arrived and showed up on my instruments at 15.10 UTC--a fantastic shockwave followed by a magnetic storm," says Stammes.
"This could be a happy day for many aurora watchers."
The sun is a big mass of energy. The sun produces high energy protons, and the solar wind carries these protons towards our planet. During solar flare activity, energetic protons are blown violently outwards... sometimes towards earth. Energetic protons can reach Earth within 30 minutes of a major flare's peak. During such an event (big ones are also known as Solar Proton Events), Earth is showered with highly energetic solar particles (primarily protons) released from the flare site. When these protons arrive at Earth and enter the atmosphere over the polar regions, much enhanced ionization is produced at altitudes below 100 km. Ionization at these low altitudes is particularly effective in absorbing HF radio signals and can render HF communications impossible throughout the polar regions. This effect is called Radio Blackouts. This type of event is also known as a Polar Cap Absorption Event or PCA. http://www.solarham.com/proton.html
Strongest Radiation Storm since 2003
The solar proton flux continues at high levels. After the CME impacted Earth this morning, it reached even higher (6300 pfu) and is now the largest radiation storm since October 2003. A Strong S3 Level radiation storm remains in progress.