U-shaped Filament Finally Erupts

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UPDATE – Nov 17, 2015
This filament eruption did produce a large CME, but it appears as though the majority of it went to the West and South of the Earth Sun line. There’s a slight chance for a glancing blow on the 18th and 19th. As of now, NOAA has posted a G1 geomagnetic storm watch for 11/18 but this is due to the expected arrival of the high speed wind from a coronal hole.

There is still a slight chance for a glancing blow, we’ll know it is coming if the EPAM readings start rising over the next 18-36 hours. With ambient wind speed already high from the coronal hole, it won’t take much disturbance for a glancing blow to produce aurora.

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All week aurora hunters have been watching the big sideways U-shaped filament rotate across the solar disk. It has looked like it could release at any point for the last several days.

Today, it did finally erupt. Space weather forecasters will be monitoring the data coming in from the eruption for the possibility on an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection (CME). The initial look at the eruption in AIA 304, shows that there were potentially two expulsions of plasma. Both look to be a little west and of the Earth-sun line, with the second being a little closer but narrower. LASCO data will show whether there is potential impact to earth in 6-12 hours.

For now, enjoy this beautiful view of the eruption from SDO:

Full disk animated GIF of sideways u-shaped Filament eruption - November 15, 2015
Full disk animated GIF of sideways u-shaped Filament eruption – November 15, 2015

And a zoomed in version of the same eruption:

Zoomed in and slowed animated GIF of sideways u-shaped Filament eruption - November 15, 2015
Zoomed in and slowed animated GIF of sideways u-shaped Filament eruption – November 15, 2015

Happy Hunting!

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