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Get ready for a second blast
Posted: 04 August 2010

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The first of two coronal mass ejections blasted out from the Sun at the weekend arrived in Earth's neighbourhood last night, lighting up the skies across Europe and North America. A second blast is expected to arrive tonight.

Almost the entire Earth-facing side of the Sun erupted on 1 August, blasting out two coronal mass ejections. The different colours in this extreme ultraviolet snapshot from the Solar Dynamics Observatory represents different gas temperatures ranging from 1 to 2 million degrees K. Image: NASA/SDO.

Last night's activity rated G2 on the NOAA Space Weather Scale for Geomagnetic Storms, translating as a moderate storm on a scale that tops out at grade five. The storm struck the Earth's magnetic field at 1740 UT and persisted for some 12 hours.

These images taken by the STEREO Ahead satellite from 3:47 to 15:47 UT, show the movement of the CME cloud, on the right of the discs, as it expands toward Earth. Image: NASA/STEREO.

A second bout of geomagnetic activity is forecast for this evening; according to, there is a 35 percent chance of major geomagnetic storms. You can see some of the beautiful auroral displays from last night's storm in's aurora gallery.

Read yesterday's report, Solar blast heads for Earth, here.

The Planets
From tiny Mercury to distant Neptune and Pluto, The Planets profiles each of the Solar System's members in depth, featuring the latest imagery from space missions. The tallest mountains, the deepest canyons, the strongest winds, raging atmospheric storms, terrain studded with craters and vast worlds of ice are just some of the sights you'll see on this 100-page tour of the planets.

Hubble Reborn
Hubble Reborn takes the reader on a journey through the Universe with spectacular full-colour pictures of galaxies, nebulae, planets and stars as seen through Hubble's eyes, along the way telling the dramatic story of the space telescope, including interviews with key scientists and astronauts.

3D Universe
Witness the most awesome sights of the Universe as they were meant to be seen in this 100-page extravaganza of planets, galaxies and star-scapes, all in 3D!


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