First X Class Flare in Four years

The silence and boredom has ended. It seems that the yellow ball in the sky has decided to show that its not dead yet. After an unusually long hiatus, a large sunspot group just below the solar equator has formed. The spots recently released an M6 class solar Flare on Feb 13th at about 1738 UTC. This was followed up today by a X2 class flare released on Feb 15th on 0156UTC. Both flares have ejecta (coronal mass ejection) hurling towards earth, triggering geomagnetic storms over the polar regions of our planet.

solar flare
X-Ray emission data from SOHO-CELIAS instrument, Wavelength from 1 t0 500 Angstrom
sunspot 1158
The flare originated from the sunspot group designated 1158. Astronomers predict that this feature on the sun isn’t done yet and there may be more fireworks soon. Besides the pretty auroras, flares like these can be annoying too. Strong flares have known to cause problems in power transmission lines, destroying sensitive electronics on board satellites and deep space missions.

Update

19.02.2011: Another M Class Eruption, There is 75% chance of more outbursts soon

Related Links

Leave a Reply