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X 6.9 solar flare took place – partialy Earth-directed!!!

x-6-9-solar-flare-took-place-earth-directed

The largest solar flare of Cycle 24 just took place at 08:05 UTC and it registered a whopping X6.9. The source was Sunspot 1263 which is nearing the Western Limb. Because of its location, any large explosions may not be fully earth directed. When watching new video images from the STEREO website, it appears the CME is less intense than the one caused by the M9.3 flare from last week. A minor S1 Radiation Storm is in progress

NOAA Scales Activity

Range 1 (minor) to 5 (extreme)

NOAA Scale

Geomagnetic Storms *

Solar Radiation Storms

Radio Blackouts

X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: X7 0805 UT Aug09
24-hr: X7 0805 UT Aug09

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 102 sfu

Solar wind
speed: 643.3 km/sec
density: 0.5 protons/cm3

 

GIF MOVIES
LASCO/C2 LASCO/C3 EIT 304A

67M

69M

69M
1/4 Resolution
16M
1/4 Resolution
16M
1/4 Resolution
5.5M
EIT 195A EIT 171A EIT 284A

23M

21M

24M
1/4 Resolution
6.1M
1/4 Resolution
5.4M
1/4 Resolution
6.1M

These GIF movies are courtesy of the LASCO/NRL SOHO team.

 

A strong burst of radiation, a flare, was measured by the GOES satellite. The flare was also seen as a light flash in PROBA2/SWAP and SDO/AIA images. Solar radiation reaches the Earth after 8 minutes. This flare is up to now the strongest flare of the current solar cycle.

Shortly after the peak of the flare, the proton flux near Earth increased. GOES is also capable of measuring these energetic electrical particles. The Sun throws a whole bunch of these particles into space, more then usual. The proton flux passed the storm threshold. The storm level is not dramatic.

A plasma cloud left the Sun at the moment of the event. It is now travelling through space at a speed of more then 1000 km/s. At a speed of 1000 km/s and no deceleration, a cloud bridges the distance between the Sun and the Earth in 1 day and 17 hours. The plasma cloud is not directed straight to Earth. But a glancing blow is possible and can cause a geomagnetic storm.

Possible consequences on the day side of the Earth associated with the radiation burst:
radio communication can be interrupted – satellites orbitting just above the Earth atmosphere can feel a drag force – navigation systems based on satellites and signal passage through the ionosphere can be disturbed. Possible consequences associated with the proton event:
Additional radiation at the Earth poles and in space (ISS is vunerable) – Radio communication disruption at the poles

Additional effects are possible at arrival of the plasma cloud. (SIDC)

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