First X-class solar flare of Solar Cycle 24 – X2.3 on February 14, 2011

first-x-flare-of-the-new-solar-cycle-enormous-flare-in-progress-in-ar-1158

Earth-orbiting satellites detected an X2.3 solar flare at 01:56 UTC on February 14, 2011. This is the most powerful solar flare in nearly five years, and the first X-class solar flare of Solar Cycle 24. The source was behemoth sunspot 1158.

Solar wind
speed: 452.8 km/sec
density: 5.2 protons/cm3

X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: X2 0156 UT Feb15
24-hr: X2 0156 UT Feb15

Radio Blackouts:
R3 Highest Radio Blackout level past 24 hrs

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded an intense flash of extreme ultraviolet radiation, circled below:

Image credit: NASA SDO (via SpaceWeather)

The Classification of X-ray Solar Flares

Featured image: NASA SDO

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