Major X1.0 solar flare erupts with bright CME – glancing blow expected on October 31


Increased solar activity will continue this week. Beta-Gamma-Delta classified Active Region 1875 erupted with major solar flare reaching X1.0 at 02:03 UTC on Monday, October 28, 2013. A bright Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) is visible emerging from the Sun.

This region is located on the west limb and the majority of material is heading away from Earth. However, it appears that the eastern flank of the expanding cloud may still be Earth directed and a glancing blow impact to our geomagnetic field will be possible within 72 hours.

As visible on the image below, a smaller solar flare was already in progress around sunspot 1882 at the time of this eruption.

SUMMARY: X-ray Event exceeded X1
Begin Time: 2013 Oct 28 0141 UTC
Maximum Time: 2013 Oct 28 0203 UTC
End Time: 2013 Oct 28 0212 UTC
X-ray Class: X1.0
Optical Class: 2n
Location: N04W66
NOAA Scale: R3 – Strong

Potential Impacts: Area of impact consists of large portions of the sunlit side of Earth, strongest at the sub-solar point.
Radio – Wide area blackout of HF (high frequency) radio communication for about an hour. 

Background image credit: SDO AIA 304 at the time of X1.0 eruption on October 28, 2013. Flare position image credit: SDO EVE/SAM

YouTube video

At 04:41 UTC another flare, this time moderate M5.1, erupted from around the same region also resulting in CME. A Type II and IV Radio Emissions and 10 cm Radio Burst (TenFlare) were associated with this event.

SUMMARY: X-ray Event exceeded M5
Begin Time: 2013 Oct 28 0432 UTC
Maximum Time: 2013 Oct 28 0441 UTC
End Time: 2013 Oct 28 0446 UTC
X-ray Class: M5.1
Optical Class: 2b
Location: N08W71
NOAA Scale: R2 – Moderate
Potential Impacts: Area of impact centered primarily on sub-solar point on the sunlit side of Earth.
Radio – Limited blackout of HF (high frequency) radio communication for tens of minutes.


ALERT: Type II Radio Emission
Begin Time: 2013 Oct 28 0437 UTC
Estimated Velocity: 508 km/s
Description: Type II emissions occur in association with eruptions on the sun and typically indicate a coronal mass ejection is associated with a flare event.


ALERT: Type IV Radio Emission
Begin Time: 2013 Oct 28 0437 UTC
Description: Type IV emissions occur in association with major eruptions on the sun and are typically associated with strong coronal mass ejections and solar radiation storms.


SUMMARY: 10cm Radio Burst
Begin Time: 2013 Oct 28 0438 UTC
Maximum Time: 2013 Oct 28 0438 UTC
End Time: 2013 Oct 28 0439 UTC
Duration: 1 minutes
Peak Flux: 170 sfu
Latest Penticton Noon Flux: 167 sfu
Description: A 10cm radio burst indicates that the electromagnetic burst associated with a solar flare at the 10cm wavelength was double or greater than the initial 10cm radio background. This can be indicative of significant radio noise in association with a solar flare. This noise is generally short-lived but can cause interference for sensitive receivers including radar, GPS, and satellite communications.


There are currently 9 numbered sunspot regions on the disk. Four of them have Beta-Gamma-Delta magnetic configuration and are capable of producing strong eruptions on the Sun. Region 1875, the source of today's X1.0 solar flare, is now rotating away from Earth view and will continue its flaring as farside region.

On the Earth side, next few days will mark the activity of Beta-Gamma-Delta regions 1882 and 1884, source of significant flaring in last 72 hours. They are rotating into more geoeffective position and will pose significant risk for Earth directed CMEs in the coming days.

Chances for strong solar flares are high. For next 72 hours, NOAA SWPC forecasters estimate 65% chance for M-class, and 35% chance for X-class solar flare. 

Sunspots – October 28, 2013. Image credit: NASA SDO/HMI

1873 – Alpha
1875 – Beta-Gamma-Delta
1877 – Beta-Gamma-Delta
1879 – Beta
1881 – Beta
1882 – Beta-Gamma-Delta
1883 – Alpha
1884 – Beta-Gamma-Delta
1885 – Alpha

Timeline of M and X class eruptions: October 23 – 28, 2013

  1. October 23, 2013 – 20:53 UTC – M2.7 from Region 1875
  2. October 23, 2013 – 23:43 UTC – M1.4 from Region 1875
  3. October 24, 2013 – 00:08 UTC – M3.1 from Region 1875
  4. October 24, 2013 – 00:30 UTC – M9.3 from Region 1877
  5. October 24, 2013 – 10:09 UTC – M2.5 from Region 1875
  6. October 24, 2013 – 10:33 UTC – M3.5 from Region 1875
  7. October 25, 2013 – 03:02 UTC – M2.9 from Region 1882
  8. October 25, 2013 – 08:01 UTC – X1.7 from Region 1882 – Global eruption on the Sun
  9. October 25, 2013 – 10:11 UTC – M1.0 from Region 1882
  10. October 25, 2013 – 15:03 UTC – X2.1 from Region 1882 – Very bright CME produced. Glancing blow expected on October 28.
  11. October 25, 2013 -17:09 UTC – M1.3 from Region 1882
  12. October 25, 2013 -19:21 UTC – M2.3 from Region 1882
  13. October 25, 2013 – 20:58 UTC – M1.9 from Region 1882
  14. October 26, 2013 – 06:06 UTC – M2.3 from Region 1882
  15. October 26, 2013 – 09:37 UTC – M1.5 from Region 1882
  16. October 26, 2013 – 11:17 UTC – M1.8 from Region 1882
  17. October 26, 2013 – 19:27 UTC – M3.1 from Region 1884
  18. October 26, 2013 – 19:53 UTC – M1.0 from Region 1882
  19. October 27, 2013 – 12:48 UTC – M3.5 from Region 1875
  20. October 28, 2013 – 02:03 UTC – X1.0 from Region 1875 – Bright CME. Glancing blow expected on October 31.
  21. October 28, 2013 – 04:41 UTC – M5.1 from Region 1875
  22. October 28, 2013 – 11:52 UTC – M1.4 from Region 1877
  23. October 28, 2013 – 14:05 UTC – M2.8 from Region 1875
  24. October 28, 2013 – 15:01 UTC – M2.7 from Region 1882
  25. October 28, 2013 – 15:15 UTC – M4.4 from Region 1882
  26. October 28, 2013 – 20:57 UTC – M1.5 from Region 1875

Solar activity from October 20 – 27, 2013CME's from X-class flares on October 25 are expected to deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field on October 28, 2013. Glancing blow from October 28th eruptions are expected on October 31 around 04:00 UTC (+/- 6 hours).

The following video shows 7 days of solar activity on Earth's side of the Sun. The timeline has only moderate and strong eruptions from October 20 – 27, 2013.

YouTube video

Featured image: NASA SDO AIA 304

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