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A filament of magnetism curling around the sun's southeastern limb erupted on August 31st, producing a coronal mass ejection (CME), a C8-class solar flare, and one of the most beautiful movies ever recorded by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory:
The explosion hurled a CME away from the sun traveling faster than 500 km/s (1.1 million mph). The cloud, shown here, is not heading directly toward Earth, but it will deliver a glancing blow to our planet's magnetic field. NOAA forecasters estimate a 40% chance of strong polar geomagnetic storms when the cloud arrives on Sept. 3rd.