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Increased solar activity – After two major solar flares an impulsive M3.0 erupts from AR 2087, M1.8 from AR 2080

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Solar activity reached high levels yesterday as new Region 2087 (S18E71, Dai/beta-delta) produced an impulsive X2.2 flare peaking at 11:42 UTC and an X1.5 flare at 12:52 UTC. Forecasters estimate 60% chance of M-class, and 30% chance of X-class solar flares in the next two days.

The X2.2 flare had an associated 10 cm radio burst (1400 sfu), a Type II radio sweep (878 km/s), and a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) off the east limb first seen in SOHO/LASCO C2 imagery at 10/12:00 UTC.

The X1.5 flare was associated 10 cm radio burst (530 sfu), a Type IV radio sweep, and a partial halo CME first seen at 10/1325 UTC in C2 imagery. Its CME's estimated speed was around 929 km/s and was observed overtaking the first.

WSA ENLIL modeling of the event shows a potential for a glancing blow arriving midday on June 13. Only an outside chance of at most G1 (Minor) geomagnetic storming is forecast. 

Another partial halo CME, associated with the C9 flare from Region 2085 first seen in C2 imagery at 12:48 UTC on June 9 was also input into the model. The arrival of this CME is projected to be around 19:00 UTC on June 14. (SWPC)

WSA-Enlil Solar Wind Prediction. Estimated time of CME arrival midday on June 13, 2014. Image credit: SWPC

Although decaying, Region 2080 is also showing signs of increased activity today. At 05:34 UTC today it erupted with moderately strong M1.8 solar flare

Region 2087 erupted with an impulsive M3.0 on June 11, 2014. This latest event started at 08:00, peaked at 08:09 and ended at 08:15 UTC. More information about this event will be available after the analysis. 

Sunspots

There are currently 7 numbered sunspot regions on the Earth side of the Sun.

Slight decay was observed in the intermediate and trailing spots of Regions 2080 (S12W36, Dkc/beta-gamma-delta) and 2085 (S20W30, Ekc/beta-gamma) with umbral consolidation in the leader spots. Only minor C-class flaring was observed between these two regions, however they have retained their magnetic complexity. Region 2087 continued to rotate around the SE limb and appeared to be have some separation within its leader spots.

Sunspots on June 11, 2014. Image credit: NASA SDO / HMI

2077 – Alpha
2079 – Beta
2080 – Beta-Gamma-Delta
2082 – Beta
2084 – Beta
2085 – Beta-Gamma
2087 – Beta-Delta

Solar wind

Solar wind speeds increased slightly yesterday, from approximately 390 km/s to near 460 km/s with a peak speed of 498 km/s at 10/21:43 UTC. Total field ranged from 1 nT to 9 nT while the Bz component was variable between +8 nT and -6 nT. Phi angle was mostly positive (away) until 10/15:30 UTC when it become variable.

Solar wind speeds are expected to return to near nominal levels on June 11 and 12. An enhancement is expected approximately midday on June 13 as a combination of coronal hole high speed stream (CH HSS) and a potential glancing blow from the June 10 CME are expected.

Update:

An impulsive X1.0 solar flare erupted from AR 2087 on June 11, 2014. This is the third X-class (the strongest) solar flare in last 24 hours. Read more about it here.

Featured image: NASA SDO / AIA 1700 on June 11, 2014 @ 07:02 UTC

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