Last week's powerful X-class flare from the sunspot, AR 2887, the first since September 2017, only grazed earth's magnetosphere on the 31st of October but caused a wonderful display of Aurora Borealis across most of the Northern Hemisphere as far south as England, Holland, and Germany in Europe. According to Spaceweather.com, the blast at 1535 UT on Oct. 28th created a massive tsunami of plasma in the sun's atmosphere.
AR 2887 has not gone away, yesterday it fired off another (special) CME, an M1.7-class "cannibal" solar flare, and this time the CME will hit Earth directly, see the animation above.
According to Spaceweather.com, the CME heading for Earth is a cannibal. SOHO coronagraphs recorded the CME leaving the sun on Nov. 2nd following a slow-motion solar flare (M1.7) in the magnetic canopy of sunspot AR2891:
Cannibal CMEs are fast coronal mass ejections that sweep up slower CMEs in front of them. Piled together, the mish-mash of CMEs contain strong magnetic fields and compressed plasmas that can do a good job sparking geomagnetic storms.
The slower CMEs, in this case, were hurled into space on Nov. 1st and 2nd by departing sunspot AR2887. NOAA analyst.
The animation shows the cannibal cloud sweeping up one whole CME and a portion of another. If NOAA's model is correct, the combined CME will make first contact with our planet around 2300 UT on Nov. 3rd, with geomagnetic storms commencing on Nov. 4th.
The model also predicts a +300 km/s increase in solar wind speed and a 5-fold jump in solar wind density in the CME's wake. These conditions, if they materialize, would set the stage for geomagnetic storms as strong as category G2. Yesterday's solar wind reached an impressive 600 km/s as it was blasted from the Sun.