A cloud of plasma ejected from the Sun on the evening of December 7 reached the Earth. The contact of our planet with dense masses of solar gas was registered around 4 am. This is reported on the website of the Laboratory of x-ray astronomy of the Sun.
As measured by the spacecraft that first took on the impact of our star, the speed of the cloud is about 600 km per second. The proton density is about 10 per cubic centimeter. The gas temperature is about 300 thousand degrees. In total, our planet will spend about a day immersed in solar matter.
The characteristics of the masses ejected from the Sun, measured near the Earth, differ significantly from the initial ones with which this substance leaves the Sun. In particular, gas densities are several million times lower than solar ones. This is because the gas cloud on the way from the Sun expands and reduces its density.
On the one hand, this reduces the impact on the planets. On the other hand, it leads to the fact that clouds reach gigantic sizes, sometimes tens of millions of kilometers. As a result, the planets that get in their way do not just experience a shock but are enveloped in solar masses for dozens of hours, and sometimes for several days. This is what is happening to the Earth right now. You can see that the temperature of the plasma near the Earth almost corresponds to the solar one. During the 150-million-kilometer journey from the Sun to Earth, the ejected gas-cooled from its original temperature of 1 million degrees to only about 300,000.
The radiation load on spacecraft is now high but moderate. This is due to the moderate score of the outbreak that occurred. There is no doubt that during the beginning of the solar cycle of activity, the Earth will have to withstand ten times stronger impacts. They will peak in 2023-2025.
The Earth’s magnetic field will be in a disturbed state for about a day, including possible weak and moderate magnetic storms. The area of auroras is shifted towards the Western hemisphere and will cover almost the entire Northern part of Canada.