Increased solar activity continues with multiple solar flares and geomagnetic storming

Increased solar activity continues with multiple solar flares and geomagnetic storming

Increased solar activity continued today as five M and multiple mid-level C-class solar flares erupted from large 'beta-gamma-delta' classified Active Region 2192. This region is located in the southeast quadrant and is still rotating toward the center of the disk. 

An impulsive, moderately strong M3.1 solar flare was observed shortly after 09:00 UTC today. The event started at 09:00, peaked at 09:11 and ended at 09:20 UTC today.

The second M-class solar flare of the day started at 16:00, peaked at 16:37 as M4.5 and ended at 16:55 UTC. A 10 cm Radio Burst was associated with this event.

Region 2192 erupted with a major X1.1 solar flare yesterday and it continues to evolve as it rotates into geoeffective position. It remains capable of producing major eruptions on the Sun.

Earth directed Coronal Mass Ejections from this region are possible in the days ahead.

​Meanwhile, Earth continues to be under the influence of a coronal hole high speed stream (CH HSS) which is causing geomagnetic storming at high latitudes. Geomagnetic K-index of 5 (G1-Minor) was reached at 17:43 UTC today.

Space Weather Message Code: SUM10R
Serial Number: 636
Issue Time: 2014 Oct 20 1627 UTC

SUMMARY: 10cm Radio Burst
Begin Time: 2014 Oct 20 1609 UTC
Maximum Time: 2014 Oct 20 1609 UTC
End Time: 2014 Oct 20 1610 UTC
Duration: 1 minutes
Peak Flux: 190 sfu

Latest Penticton Noon Flux: 173 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.

Sunspots

There are currently 4 numbered sunspot regions on the Earth side of the Sun.

Region 2192 persists as the most productive and threatening region on the visible disk and is still growing. Region 2193 (N05E02, Dro/beta) exhibited minor growth during last 24 hours while the other regions on the visible disk were relatively stable.  

Sunspots on October 20, 2014. Image credit: NASA SDO / HMI

2186 - Alpha
2187 - Beta
2192 - Beta-Gamma-Delta
2193 - Beta

Colorized Magnetogram - October 20, 2014. Image credit: NASA SDO / HMI.

The following video shows growth of Region 2192 during the last 72 hours:

Video courtesy of SolarHam (Images by NASA SDO/HMI)

Forecast

NOAA SWPC forecasters estimate 60% chance for M-class, and 20% chance for X-class solar flares over the next three days (October 20 - 22).

There is a slight chance for a greater than 10 MeV proton enhancement at or above the S1 (Minor) solar radiation storm level over the next three days as Region 2192 moves into a more favorable position on the solar disk.

Solar wind parameters indicated the likely onset of a positive polarity coronal hole high speed stream (CH HSS) at around 18:00 UTC today. Solar wind speeds were steady between 375-475 km/s through 20/08:00 UTC when wind speeds increased to near 550 km/s. IMF total field values were steady between 5-11 nT and Bz varied between +8 nT and -8 nT.  The phi angle was steady in a positive (away) solar sector during last 24 hours.

Solar wind parameters are expected to remain enhanced, with wind speeds in the 450-550 km/s, over the next three days.

Geomagnetic field

Earth is under the continued influence of CH HSS. Quiet to active geomagnetic field levels are expected over the next three days.

Geomagnetic K-index of 5 (G1-Minor) was reached at 17:43 UTC today. Area of impact is primarily poleward of 60 degrees Geomagnetic Latitude.

Weak power grid fluctuations can occur. Aurora may be visible at high latitudes.

Space Weather Message Code: ALTK05
Serial Number: 754
Issue Time: 2014 Oct 20 1744 UTC

ALERT: Geomagnetic K-index of 5
Threshold Reached: 2014 Oct 20 1743 UTC
Synoptic Period: 1500-1800 UTC

Active Warning: Yes
NOAA Scale: G1 - Minor

NOAA Space Weather Scale descriptions can be found at
www.swpc.noaa.gov/NOAAscales

Potential Impacts: Area of impact primarily poleward of 60 degrees Geomagnetic Latitude.
Induced Currents - Weak power grid fluctuations can occur.
Spacecraft - Minor impact on satellite operations possible.
Aurora - Aurora may be visible at high latitudes, i.e., northern tier of the U.S. such as northern Michigan and Maine.

Aurora over Alberta, Canada on October 15, 2014. Image credit: Zoltan Kenwell (InFocusImagery)

Update:

An impulsive solar flare measuring M1.4 at its peak time was observed from Region 2192 starting at 18:55. The flare peaked at 19:02 and ended at 19:04 UTC.

Another impulsive flare measuring M1.7, fourth M-class solar flare of the day, was observed from the same region shortly after. That event started at 19:53, peaked at 20:04 and ended at 20:13 UTC.

Fifth M-class solar flare of the day started at 22:43, peaked at 22:55 as M1.2 and ended at 23:13 UTC.

Featured image credit: NASA SDO / HMI.

Tags: m-class

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