The Solar Proton Event that Hit the SOHO Spacecraft

Watch carefully and you will see the solar flare at ~12 hrs universal time (UT) that blew high energy protons toward the Earth . . . . . . .

Less than 2 hours later (~13:30 hrs UT), the protons arrived at Earth, and blasted the SOHO spacecraft instruments producing a false signal like "snow" in the images and disrupting their normally clear view of the sun.

Movie (518K animated gif) courtesy of Joe Gurhman, Facility Scientist, Solar Data Analysis Center, and the SOHO-EIT Consortium.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the Earth's magnetosphere, just 8 minutes after the flare occured . . . . . . . .

Xrays arrived at Earth and were detected by the GOES 9 spacecraft at geosynchronous orbit. Xrays are the first warning of a solar disturbance in progress.

Less than two hours later . . . . . .

particle counters on the GOES 9 spacecraft rose alarmingly. A warning of a solar proton event in progress was issued by the Space Environment Center

Click here for a list of important solar proton events from 1976 to Nov 1997.

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