X-Class solar flare sent us a CME? Not this time…

Sunspot AR1598 has erupted again. On Oct. 23rd at 0322 UT, Earth orbiting satellites detected a strong X1-class solar flare but don’t expect anyone to warn of of much more than a lot of the same.  Why create panic for a small possibility of a large impact to our power-grids, radio communications, etc.  I digress, It was spectacular and probably will not change much of anything in your day.  Take a look at this view of it.

October 2012 X-Class Solar Flare - Spaceweather.com

This flare, however, did not unleash a coronal mass ejection, so it is predicted to cause little disruption on Earth and no special auroras. Its powerful radiation was enough, though, to briefly disrupt radios here last night.X-Class Solar Flare on earth facing side of the sun

Solar Flare: Earth to be impacted by massive CME from x-class solar flare

Massive X-Class Solar Flare heading towards earthA CME propelled toward Earth by yesterday’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.

Mild geomagnetic activity is already underway, following a lesser CME impact on March 7th around 0400 UT. Big sunspot AR1429 has unleashed another major flare. This one is the strongest yet, an X5-class eruption on March 7th at 00:28 UT.

Large X-Class Solar FlareThis eruption hurled a bright CME into space, shown here in a movie from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory. Analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab estimate that the CME will reach Earth on March 8th at 0625 UT (+/- 7 hr), possibly triggering a strong-to-severe geomagnetic storm. An animated forecast track shows the progression of the fast-moving cloud.

The flare also accelerated energetic protons toward Earth, triggering an S3-class solar radiation storm, in progress. Such a storm is mainly a nuisance to satellites, causing occasional reboots of onboard computers and adding noise to imaging systems.

Earth Directed Solar Flare – M Class

Our Sun: M-Class solar flare directed at earthActive sunspot 1401 erupted today, Jan. 19th, between 15:15 and 16:30 UT. The long-duration blast produced an M3-class solar flare and a CME that appears to be heading toward Earth. Analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab confirm that the CME is heading for Earth, and they say strong geomagnetic storms are possible when the cloud arrives during the late hours of Jan. 21st

Our Sun: Ruturn of the X-class Solar Flare

Sunspot 1339 released this X-Class solar flare
Sunspot 1339 released this X-Class solar flare

Earth-orbiting satellites have just detected an X2-class solar flare. The source is huge sunspot AR1339 measuring some 40,000 km wide and at least twice that in length, the sprawling sunspot group is an easy target for backyard solar telescopes. Two or three of the sunspot’s dark cores are wider than Earth itself.

The x-class solar flare launched a  CME (coronal mass ejection) into space. The CME is not heading our way. Many scientists will be watching this sunspot as the CMEs could have greater effect as AR1339 turns toward Earth in the next few days.

Our Sun: M-class solar flare after a long C-class solar flare

Halloween M-class solar flareSunspot 1330 continues to wow us as it moves further and further away from its earth facing position.  Today we have seen the last four hours of c-class solar flare levels with a few spikes in the data (see graph to the right).  The sun then unleashed a 1.1 m-class solar flare which I do not think came from sunspot 1330, rather it came from a new spot over the north-east limb of the sun.  Possibly a new sunspot that we will be needing to keep an eye on. Furthermore, the CME from this solar flare should be heading away from us and should not brush by the earth as previously thought.  M-class flares are medium-sized and had it been earth bound could have caused brief radio blackouts that would have affected the Earth’s polar regions. Minor radiation storms have also been known to follow an M-class flare.

Our Sun: Earth directed CME to arrive on the 30th

C-Class solar flare that produced earth directed CME UPDATE: As pretty as it was, the CME has come and gone with not som much as a larger footprint for the northern lights today.  As we said, only a c-class solar flare,  not that big in the first place but was directed at earth.

A CME (coronal mass ejection) was released today from what looks to be sunspot 1330.  The Solar flare that produced this CME was a C-Class in size measured at 2.6.  Although not a huge solar flare by the standards of solar flares, the CME is going to hit the earth very hard and should last approx 11 hours.   This coronal mass ejection should not cause much of a disruption on earth but should provide another opportunity to see the auroras in the mid to upper US states.


Arrival of the CME on October 30thCoronal mass ejections release huge quantities of matter and electromagnetic radiation into space above the sun’s surface, either near the corona (sometimes called a solar prominence) or farther into the planet system or beyond (interplanetary CME). The ejected material is a plasma consisting primarily of electrons and protons, but may contain small quantities of heavier elements such as helium, oxygen, and even iron. It is associated with enormous changes and disturbances in the coronal magnetic field. 

Sunspot 1330 generated the solar flare and CME


Huge Coronal Mass Ejection with M-class Solar Flare

October 22 Coronal mass ejectionToday the sun showed us a beautiful M-class solar flare coronal mass ejection.   The ejection does not seem to be earth directed but is very large and seems to be leaving the sun with great speed.  A coronal mass ejection (CME) is a massive burst of solar wind, other light isotope plasma, and magnetic fields rising above the solar corona or being released into space.


Extended M-Class Solar Flare

Active regions are set for a earth bound CME

Our Sun: M-Class solar flare today!

Our sun just unleashed a large solar flare!  This solar flare was an M-Class in the solar flare measurement scale.  The solar flare occured at approx 12:53 UTC and lasted for only a few minutes in duration but did have a CME (corronal mass ejection) associated with it.  The CME is being tracked and I will update this post with more information and pictures as I get them.

 Graph showing the M-Class solar flare as it occured

GOES 15 X-Ray Events 1-8A
Cur 21/1305 C8.7 Ratio 0.102
Int 6.3e-03 J m-2

And for fun… NASA image that is mysteriously missing this m-class flare…

NASA image of M-class solare flare today-oddly missing the solar flare

M-Class solar flare and Sunspot 1319’s beta gamma configuration

M Class solar flare - October 2011The Solar Flare reaching M1.6 peaked at 03:25 UTC Thursday morning and was centered off the northwest limb near Sunspot 1318 which is rotating out of direct earth view. Solar activity remains at fairly low levels with only small to mid sized C-Class flares taking place in the past 48 hours.  There will be a chance for an M-Class flare around Sunspots 1319 and 1324.   Sunspot 1319 has a beta-gamma magnetic field that harbors energy for M-class solar flares. Another Sunspot is now rotating into view on the eastern limb just behind Sunspot 1324 and was numbered 1325 and will be ones to keep an eye on.