Update 3/8/12 7 Am - As of this morning, I do not see that the Earth has been impacted at all. The magnetosphere does not show there has been any pressure on the Earth as of yet. So it seems it may be as the last time, the flare went either above or below the Earth and missed us.
Since X flares travel much faster - the one released this morning will be getting to Earth tomorrow morning. Watch for Auroras. This is the strongest Earth directed CME/flare in a long time. East coast is 4 hours behind UTC time. So that would be around 2 AM est. The stereo and soho cameras are being affected by the strong CMEs over the last day. You can see all the white particle protons.
From Above Link:
WASHINGTON – The largest solar flare in five years is racing toward Earth, threatening to unleash a torrent of charged particles that could disrupt power grids, GPS and airplane flights.
"It's hitting us right in the nose," said Joe Kunches, a scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He called it the sun's version of "Super Tuesday."
The solar storm is likely to last through Friday morning, but the region that erupted can still send more blasts our way, Kunches said. He said another set of active sunspots is ready to aim at Earth right after this.But for now, scientists are waiting to see what happens Thursday when the charged particles hit Earth at 4 million mph.
GEOMAGNETIC STORM UPDATE: A CME propelled toward Earth by this morning's X5-class solar flare is expected to reach our planet on March 8th at 0625 UT (+/- 7 hr). Analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab, who prepared the CME's forecast track, say the impact could spark a strong-to-severe geomagnetic storm. Sky watchers at all latitudes should be alert for auroras. Aurora alerts: text, phone.
As always to watch it and the affect on the magnetosphere - watch at this site.
What I find is interesting almost one year ago to the date we had a strong flare hit the Earth, then the 3/11/11 quake/tsunami happened.
Graph of X-Flare and other Flares that have been released over the last day from the same sunspot.
I found this interesting. I like to see how far down the Auroras are when a flare is impacting the Earth. It seems that NOAA is doing an IT upgrade at this time and there is no real time Aurora Map to be seen.
Added - Great Video about it. Shows an X-Flare happened and then another X-Flare happened right after.
This guys explains a lot. He does say, he wasn't sure if it was Earth directed when he made the video. I will add, since then NOAA has confirmed it is Earth directed.