Earlier today (Nov. 29th at 1311UT), Earth-orbiting satellites detected the biggest solar flare in more than 3 years. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded this extreme-ultraviolet movie of the M4.4 category blast.
Remarkably, this flare was even bigger than it seems. The blast site is located just behind the sun's southeastern limb. As a result, the explosion was partially eclipsed by the body of the sun. It might have been an X-class event.
The flare also hurled a significant coronal mass ejection (CME) into space, shown here in a coronagraph image from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO):
This CME will not hit Earth. It is outside the strikezone for geoeffective solar storms. If, however, it were coming our way, we would be anticipating a strong geomagnetic storm. Maybe next time!
"Next time" could be just days away. The hidden sunspot that produced this major event will rotate onto the Earthside of the sun during the next day or two. Then its ability to spark geomagnetic storms will be greatly increased.
I get solar flare warnings from a observatory site in Australia about this flare and by their account is was a very large flare.ReplyDelete
Should make the northern lights in the north really dance this time of year.Delete
I think it was only an M4.4, nothing to worry about until its a large X class.Delete
Reminded me of this short story, "Inconstant Moon" by Larry NivenReplyDelete
You can download it as a pfd if you're interested in a good science fiction short story.
The amateur radio people should be excited again. The quiet Sun bothered a lot of them.ReplyDelete
I should really stock up on canned food and ammo. We'd have a hard time coping with a Carrington Event.ReplyDelete
I see you also check what the sun is up to every morning (I do on spaceweather.com)...so that I MIGHT have a couple of days of warning for when the big X flare comes (which might send us all back to the stone age!)...it just a matter of time before the sun says "you've had enough fun"!ReplyDelete
Okay, who had "End of civilization on Earth" for December?ReplyDelete