The CME left the sun traveling some 900 km/s (2 million mph). Three-dimensional computer models based on observations from SOHO and NASA’s twin STEREO probes predict the CME will cross the void between sun and Earth in two days or less. NOAA forecasters estimate a 70% chance of polar geomagnetic storms when the cloud arrives on March 17th.
Source : Spaceweather.com
On March 15, 2013, at 2:54 a.m. EDT, the sun erupted with an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection (CME), a solar phenomenon that can send billions of tons of solar particles into space and can reach Earth one to three days later and affect electronic systems in satellites and on the ground. Experimental NASA research models, based on observations from the Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) and ESA/NASA’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, show that the CME left the sun at speeds of around 900 miles per second, which is a fairly fast speed for CMEs. Historically, CMEs at this speed have caused mild to moderate effects at Earth.
Source : NASA
What is CME?
A coronal mass ejection (CME) is a massive burst of solar wind and magnetic fields rising above the solar corona or being released into space.
Impact of CME to Earth?
A coronal mass ejection can affect various systems in different ways. In extreme cases, electrical currents can be induced in long metal structures, like power lines and oil/gas pipelines. Additionally, the high-speed charged particles of the CME can cause the buildup of electrical charge in metal structures in satellites; such buildups of electrical charge can be damaging to the sensitive electronic systems common in telecommunications satellites. Because of the possibility of damage to these vital and very expensive systems, advance knowledge of the likelihood of a CME is potentially helpful to the operators of such systems.