CME from X-flare heads toward Earth

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CME from X-flare heads towards Earth

A large sunspot AR 1520, erupted yesterday with an X-class solar flare accompanied by a coronal mass ejection (CME).  The CME is travelling towards Earth and is estimated to impact the Earth's magnetic field late morning on July 14. The fast-moving CME left the Sun on July 12, travelling at a speed of 1000 km per second.  The impact of the CME could spark a moderate geomagnetic storm and will continue to be monitored by the South African National Space Agency (SANSA).

A CME is a massive ejection that moves out from the Sun when stored energy is suddenly released.  This ejection produces a burst of energy, from radio waves to x-rays and gamma-rays. The effects of a CME will not harm humans and other life forms on Earth as we are protected by the Earth's magnetic field, but it can cause disturbances to our communication systems like GPS, radio communications, cell phones and DSTV.

Only minor disturbances are expected at this stage and may last the duration of the weekend.

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