A CME has just hit Earth’s magnetic field (Sept. 7th at ~2300 UT). This is the debris from Wednesday’s decade-class X9 solar flare. It arrived earlier than expected, confirming that the solar storm cloud is both fast and potent. The CME appears to contain strong south-pointing magnetic fields that typically do a good job of igniting geomagnetic storms. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras in bright moonlight. Visit for updates and more information about this developing event.

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Above: An outburst of Northern Lights over Tromso, Norway, on Sept. 5th (photo credit: Tom Arne Moldenaes)Tonight’s display should be even better as Earth passes through the wake of a potent CME.  Monitor the Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery for sightings.