Sunspot 1865 produced an M1.1 flare – possible Earth-directed CME

sunspot-1865-produced-an-m1-1-flare-possible-earth-directed-cme

In last 24 hours solar activity has been at moderate levels with many C-class flares detected from sunspots 1865, 1861 and from new approaching region behind the east limb. Active Region 1865 produced an M1.1 flare at 09:00 UTC. There are clear dimming as signs of a CME in SWAP and AIA data but no coronograph images yet to confirm. Analysis of any associated Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) will be accomplished as imagery becomes available. Due to the location of this region, an ejection has strong chances of being Earth-directed.

SDO/EVE SAM 1-hour integram and GOES X-Ray flux data show M1.1 solar flare on October 15, 2013 (Credit: SDO/NOAA/SWPC/GOES)

Sunspot AR1865 has decreased in size, however, it still has a 'beta-gamma-delta' magnetic field that harbors energy for X-class solar flares. NOAA/SWPC forecasters estimate 30% chances for an M-class, and 1% chance for an X-class solar flare in the next 24 hours.

SDO AIA with active regions, EVE, X-Ray flux and satellite environment plot data for October 15, 2013 (Credit: NOAA/SWPC/SDO)

There are currently 8 numbered sunspots on the visible solar disk and two new are about to be numbered. Sunspots 1861 and 1865 are capable of producing strong Earth-directed solar flares. Both sunspots are rotating into the western hemisphere of the Sun, so the risk of proton events at Earth has increased. New active region is now about to rotate into view off the eastern limb. A number of coronal mass ejections originating from this region were observed during the past couple of days, including a bright backsided partial halo CME on October 14, 2013 at 22:00 UTC. 

Geomagnetic conditions have ranged from unsettled to active due to the fast speed stream from a coronal hole. The possible arrival of the CME from October 13 could raise the geomagnetic conditions up to storm levels late on October 16.

Featured image: NASA SDO AIA 304 – October 15, 2013

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