Sunspot AR1261 unleashed a brief but strong M9-class solar flare on July 30th at 0209 UT. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the flare’s extreme ultraviolet flash:
Because of its brevity, the eruption probably did not hurl a substantial CME toward Earth, but this is not yet a firm conclusion. (SpaceWeather)
The Classification of X-ray Solar Flares
A solar flare is an explosion on the Sun that happens when energy stored in twisted magnetic fields (usually above sunspots) is suddenly released. Flares produce a burst of radiation across the electromagnetic spectrum, from radio waves to x-rays and gamma-rays. <more information >
Scientists classify solar flares according to their x-ray brightness in the wavelength range 1 to 8 Angstroms. There are 3 categories: X-class flares are big; they are major events that can trigger planet-wide radio blackouts and long-lasting radiation storms. M-class flares are medium-sized; they can cause brief radio blackouts that affect Earth’s polar regions. Minor radiation storms sometimes follow an M-class flare. Compared to X- and M-class events, C-class flares are small with few noticeable consequences here on Earth.
speed: 426.5 km/sec
density: 4.5 protons/cm3
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B5 0515 UT Jul30
24-hr: M9 0209 UT Jul30
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2 quiet
Space Weather Message Code: SUMXM5
Serial Number: 77
Issue Time: 2011 Jul 30 0255 UTC
SUMMARY: X-ray Event exceeded M5
Begin Time: 2011 Jul 30 0204 UTC
Maximum Time: 2011 Jul 30 0209 UTC
End Time: 2011 Jul 30 0212 UTC
X-ray Class: M9.3
NOAA Scale: R2 – Moderate
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