Multiple Solar Flares – Small CME headed towards earth

Five C-class solar flares - Sunspot 1319 responsible for CMEToday we saw the sun in a very active state with five C-class solar flares in a matter of hours.   Sunspot 1319 is responsible for the C-class flare measuring 6 that had a small CME associated with it.    This coronal mass ejection will likely not be a direct hit, however, it is too early to really be sure and I am no scientist.  In the last week we ahve seen a large amount of C-class solar flares, however the majority of them were not by earth facing sunspots.

Perfect C-class Solar Flare

Perfect C-Class Solar Flare

A perfect c-class solar flare, can it be….

 The sun has been quiet for many hours and yet has decided to remind us who powers our very being and we have seen a perfect c-class solar flare. The curve on the graph(first graphic) can only make one apprecite the emmense power our sun has to offer us .  No there is nothing to worry about, this is harmless although amazing,  pretty and not common.

What is a solar flare?

A solar flare is a sudden brightening observed over the Sun surface or the solar limb, which is interpreted as a large energy release of up to 6 × 1025 joules of energy[1] (about a sixth of the total energy output of the Sun each second). The flare ejects clouds of electrons, ions, and atoms through the corona into space.

Solar flares were first observed on the Sun by Richard Christopher Carrington and independently by Richard Hodgson in 1859 [3] as localized visible brightenings of small areas within a sunspot group. Stellar flares have also been observed on a variety of other stars.

The frequency of occurrence of solar flares varies, from several per day when the Sun is particularly “active” to less than one every week when the Sun is “quiet”, following the 11-year cycle (the solar cycle). Large flares are less frequent than smaller ones.

Thank you God for such a wonderful companion to everyday of my life(see second picture)!

Our Sun-The Earth's main and only energy source, God made this microwave at just the right temperature for you!
Our Sun-The Earth's main and only energy source, God made this microwave at just the right temperature for you!

September 27 2011 C-Class Solar flare

6.4 solar flare from sun spot 1302
6.4 solar flare from sun spot 1302

Today the sun unleashed a large C-class solar flare from what appears to be sun spot 1302, one that is almost pointed perfectly at the earth. This solar flare was then accompanied by a CME (coronal mass ejection*) that is headed to earth. Although the early part of the day showed increased slowing of activity on the surface of the sun, this afternoon solar flare has again reminded us of the power of the sun. Predictions for the time of impact for the CME will be coming in the next few hours but it really is not that much to worry about although CME’s are very amazing scientifically.

C-Class solar flare from sun spot 1302 - September 27 2011*Coronal mass ejection – Large flares are often associated with huge ejections of mass from the Sun, although the association is not clear. These coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are balloon-shaped bursts of solar wind rising above the solar corona, expanding as they climb. Solar plasma is heated to tens of millions of degrees, and electrons, protons, and heavy nuclei are accelerated to near the speed of light. The super-heated electrons from CMEs move along the magnetic field lines faster than the solar wind can flow. Rearrangement of the magnetic field, and solar flares may result in the formation of a shock that accelerates particles ahead of the CME loop. Each CME releases up to 100 billion kg (220 billion lb) of this material, and the speed of the ejection can reach 1000 km/second (2 million mph) in some flares. Solar flares and CMEs are currently the biggest “explosions” in our solar system, roughly approaching the power in ONE BILLION hydrogen bombs!
Fast CMEs occur more often near the peak of the 11-year solar cycle, and can trigger major disturbances in Earth’s magnetosphere, known as space weather.

Carrington solar flare

And this is just in from 1859 because we all need to know why we watch for solar flares. Well, at least how we got started watching for solar flares.

Carrington solar flare
At 11:18 AM on the cloudless morning of Thursday, September 1, 1859, 33-year-old Richard Carrington—widely acknowledged to be one of England’s foremost solar astronomers—was in his well-appointed private observatory. Just as usual on every sunny day, his telescope was projecting an 11-inch-wide image of the sun on a screen, and Carrington skillfully drew the sunspots he saw.

Carrington sun spot and solar flare 1859
Carrington sun spot sketch Copyright: Royal Astronomical Society

On that morning, he was capturing the likeness of an enormous group of sunspots. Suddenly, before his eyes, two brilliant beads of blinding white light appeared over the sunspots, intensified rapidly, and became kidney-shaped. Realizing that he was witnessing something unprecedented and “being somewhat flurried by the surprise,” Carrington later wrote, “I hastily ran to call someone to witness the exhibition with me. On returning within 60 seconds, I was mortified to find that it was already much changed and enfeebled.” He and his witness watched the white spots contract to mere pinpoints and disappear.

It was 11:23 AM. Only five minutes had passed.

Just before dawn the next day, skies all over planet Earth erupted in red, green, and purple auroras so brilliant that newspapers could be read as easily as in daylight. Indeed, stunning auroras pulsated even at near tropical latitudes over Cuba, the Bahamas, Jamaica, El Salvador, and Hawaii.

Even more disconcerting, telegraph systems worldwide went haywire. Spark discharges shocked telegraph operators and set the telegraph paper on fire. Even when telegraphers disconnected the batteries powering the lines, aurora-induced electric currents in the wires still allowed messages to be transmitted.

“What Carrington saw was a white-light solar flare—a magnetic explosion on the sun,” explains David Hathaway, solar physics team lead at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Now we know that solar flares happen frequently, especially during solar sunspot maximum. Most betray their existence by releasing X-rays (recorded by X-ray telescopes in space) and radio noise (recorded by radio telescopes in space and on Earth). In Carrington’s day, however, there were no X-ray satellites or radio telescopes. No one knew flares existed until that September morning when one super-flare produced enough light to rival the brightness of the sun itself.

“It’s rare that one can actually see the brightening of the solar surface,” says Hathaway. “It takes a lot of energy to heat up the surface of the sun!”

The explosion produced not only a surge of visible light but also a mammoth cloud of charged particles and detached magnetic loops—a “CME”—and hurled that cloud directly toward Earth. The next morning when the CME arrived, it crashed into Earth’s magnetic field, causing the global bubble of magnetism that surrounds our planet to shake and quiver. Researchers call this a “geomagnetic storm.” Rapidly moving fields induced enormous electric currents that surged through telegraph lines and disrupted communications.

solar a

solar a

solar a, yes, it is that time of year that we need to be aware of the solar a. Most people ignore this but we know that the usual suspect is not what you really were thinking. Solar a… where do you stand?

So once again one this precipices of a new supermoon we are again worried about something or worried about nothing.

How is the solar a side of the fence that you live on treating you? Do you ever wonder if your missing some sign that seemed so obscure but now seems relevant….

Happy almost supermoon to you as well and a wonderful planatery alignment as well! Best solar a that one can wish for and please pass the solar a along

solar a , the future
solar a, a company to watch
solar a, a third world hello to the main stay civilization

Solar Flares impacting radio communications today

SXI image- M-class solar flare -constant c-class solar flareThe sun has been very active the last few days and for at least the last 24 hours we have not been below a C-class solar flare. To state it differently, the sun has been emitting more energy than usual and in a constantly stronger manner. During this long period c-class solar flare we have also seen multiple m-class solar flares and one x-class solar flare.
So what do all these solar flares mean?
That answer is an intersting one since the sun is not consistent in what it ejects from its surface. We do know that NOAA issued a warning with possible affects to HF radio communication and to navigation. I have heard a great deal of interference on VHF and HF most of the day.   According the the satellite data I am seeing the impact is more far reaching than what I have pasted below from NOAA.

HF Radio: HF radio communication blackout on most of the sunlit side of Earth for one to two hours. HF radio contact lost during this time.
Navigation: Outages of low-frequency navigation signals cause increased error in positioning for one to two hours. Minor disruptions of satellite navigation possible on the sunlit side of Earth.
From NOAA alert level explaination

Again you ask “So what do all these solar flares mean?”
If the scientists know right now what is going on, they are not sharing but I will share with you my two cents on what I think is occuring. The earth is like a microwave with the sun being our power source. The sun usually keeps us warm at a steady rate during the year, very predictable, but now we are seeing a higher power on the microwave (our sun) and the earth is heating up from the inside out or expanding due to this heat. With expansion we will see more earthquakes and more volcano’s erupt. This would explain the increased number of earthquakes that we are seeing daily but does not explain the really big earthquakes as this is more a global rumbling that is more balanced than that of a large quake which is usually localized and has localized aftershocks. For more on a possible explaination to the large earthquakes see my post on Elenin and due to the fun time of year it is… also see supermoons.

Curious and want to learn more?  I suggest you visit Space Weather Now

Elenin – Fun facts about Elenin

Elenin

Comet Elenin is passing near of earth again around Septempber 27th 2011 which we are told by Nasa is not a big deal.  I agree, right, it is just a comet however we have some fun Elenin facts that might just get you wondering how much we really know about our universe. 

Elenin and all these earthquakes?

Comet Elenin - September 2011The last three alignments between Sun, Elenin and Earth all happened on the same days as major earthquakes struck Chile, ChristChurch and Tohoku.

February 27,2010 there was alightment Elenin-Earth-Sun (7.5°) and Elenin was 7.03 AU from Sun. It was the day that 8.8 magnitude earthquake hits Chile.

September 4, 2010 there was alightment Elenion-Sun-Earth (~180°) and Elenin was 5.25 AU from Sun. It was the day that 7.0 magnitude earthquake hits ChristChurch, New Zealand.

March 11, 2011 there was alightment Elenin-Earth-Sun (6.4°) and Elenin was 3.14 AU from Sun. It was the day of Great Tohoku earthquake, magnitude 9.1 in Japan.

During the next two alignments in September and November 2011, Elenin will be much closer to the Sun! Moreover, the Earth-Sun-Elenin angle will be smaller.

Discovery of Comet Elenin

Leonid Elenin (Lyubertsy, Russia) discovered this comet on four images obtained during the period of 2010 December 10.42-10.46 using the 45-cm astrograph and a CCD camera at the International Scientific Optical Network’s robotic observatory near Mayhill, New Mexico. The magnitude was given as 19.5-19.6. The first confirmation came from A. Sergeyev and A. Novichonok(Majdanak Observatory, Uzbekistan), when they obtained four images during December 10.99-11.00 using the 1.5-m reflector and a CCD camera. The magnitude was given as 19.1 and the comet was described as a “teardrop-shaped, very diffuse coma.” This coma was 6 arc seconds across and exhibited a nuclear condensation of magnitude 20.7, while a tail extended 10-12 arc seconds toward PA 298 degrees.

X-class solar flare

September 22, 2011 – Newly numbered NOAA Region 1302 (the bright area in the upper left of the NOAA/GOES-15 SXI image shown bottom of this post) produced an X1 (NOAA Scale R3 – Strong) flare peaking at 7:01 AM Eastern (11:01 GMT) this morning. This flare did have an impressive coronal mass ejection (CME) associated with it. However, given the location of Region 1302, this CME was not directed at Earth. Activity from this location can also increase the population of energetic protons near Earth (NOAA Solar Radiation Storm Scale), but these enhancements would be slow rising. This region is just now rotating into view, so the potential for continued activity is certainly there.

Huge new sunspot found- Earth facing on September 27, 2011This X-class solar flare is headed out to space.  The x-class solar flare is from a brand new sunspot that is HUGE.   This sunspot will be Earth facing somewhere ~ 27 Sep, long time did not see so big like this one.  Then with a CME we could see it reach the earth in as short as 16 hours with the typical time being about 2-3 days.  Todays X-class eruption is just the begining for this new sunspot!

CMEs are massive clouds of solar plasma that can streak through space at up to 3 million mph (5 million kph). CMEs that hit Earth can wreak havoc on our planet, causing disruptions in GPS signals, radio communications and power grids.

GOES 15 X-Ray Events 1-8A – September 22 22011
X-class solar flareX-Class solar flare - September 22 2011 -GOES 15 data
Cur 22/1210 M4.6 Ratio 0.131
Beg
22/1029
C6.8
 
Max
22/1101
X1.4
Int 4.5e-01 J m-2
End
22/1144
M7.7
 

X-ray alerts are issued at the M5 (5x10E-5 Watts/m2) level, based upon 1-minute data. Large X-ray bursts cause short wave fades for HF propagation paths through the sunlit hemisphere. Some large flares are accompanied by strong solar radio bursts that may interfere with satellite downlinks.
Another view of the new sunspot and the X-class solar flare it produced today

Our sun: X-class solar flare on September 22 2011
Our sun: X-class solar flare on September 22 2011

Solar flares:C-class, M-class and then multiple c-class solar flares

September 21 2011 – M-class solar flare September 21 2011-Solar flare activity all day

The sun erupted into a medium sized C-class solar flare only to be followed by a larger M-class solar flare that existed for an extended period of time.  As this M-class solar flare was slowely fading we saw four C-class solar flares.  Although all of these solar flares are notable we should not have anything more than localized degradation of radio waves if anything at all.

GOES 15 X-Ray Events 1-8A on September 21 2011Solar flares-One M class and four C class solar flares
M-class solar flare
multiple C-class solar flares
Cur 21/1546 C1.9 Ratio 0.026
Beg
21/1204
C1.8
 
Max
21/1223
M1.8
Int 3.4e-02 J m-2
End 21/1245 M1.0

The GOES X-ray flux plot contains 1 minute averages of solar X-rays in the 1-8 Angstrom (0.1-0.8 nm) and 0.5-4.0 Angstrom (0.05-0.4 nm) passbands. Data from the SWPC Primary GOES X-ray satellite is shown.

X-ray alerts are issued at the M5 (5x10E-5 Watts/m2) level, based upon 1-minute data. Large X-ray bursts cause short wave fades for HF propagation paths through the sunlit hemisphere. Some large flares are accompanied by strong solar radio bursts that may interfere with satellite downlinks.

M class solar flare-September 21 2011

M class Solar Flare on September 21 2011This solar flare has been lingering for a couple hours now.  The strength has steadily gone down but the sun is really pretty today and also very active.  The solar flare data from the GOES 15 satellite is very informative and also helps us to understand the differences in each solar flare.

GOES 15 X-Ray Events 1-8A
Cur 21/1418 C2.1 Ratio 0.017
Beg
21/1204
C1.8
 
Max
21/1223
M1.8
Int 3.4e-02 J m-2
End
21/1245
M1.0
 

The GOES X-ray flux plot contains 1 minute averages of solar X-rays in the 1-8 Angstrom (0.1-0.8 nm) and 0.5-4.0 Angstrom (0.05-0.4 nm) passbands. Data from the SWPC Primary GOES X-ray satellite is shown.