Large sunspot region in geoeffectve position, unleashes M1.3 solar flare

large-sunspot-region-in-geoeffectve-position-unleashes-m1-3-solar-flare

Large Active Region 2253 (beta-gamma) erupted with moderate M1.3 solar flare at 15:35 UTC on January 4, 2015. The event started at 15:18 and ended at 15:53 UTC. Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) signatures were not detected during this event.

This region slightly grew during last 24 hours and exhibited some shearing but appears to have lost the delta configuration. However, it is now almost directly facing our planet which increases chances for Earth-directed CMEs.

Since UTC midnight of January 3rd this region erupted with 13 C-class and 2 M-class solar flares; M1.1 at 09:47 UTC on January 3, 2015 and today's M1.3.

Solar activity is expected to be low with a chance for another M-class (R1-R2, Minor-Moderate) flare from Region 2253 during the next three days (January 4 – 6) and a slight chance for an X-class (R3, Strong) flare.

Sunspots

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

As mentioned, Region 2253, now classified with 'beta-gamma' magnetic configuration, slightly grew during last 24 hours and exhibited some shearing but appears to have lost the delta configuration.

The remaining regions are mostly stable. 

Sunspots on January 4, 2014. Image credit: NASA SDO/HMI

2248 – Alpha
2251 – Beta
2252 – Alpha
2253 – Beta-Gamma / Delta
2254 – Alpha
2255 – Beta
2256 – Beta

Geospace

The geomagnetic field was at quiet to active levels, with a severe storm period observed at high latitudes during last 24 hours.

It is expected to be unsettled to active with a slight chance for minor storm (G1-Minor) levels on January 4 and 5 in response to the high speed solar wind stream.  Quiet to
unsettled levels are expected on January 6 as the high speed stream influence wanes.

Featured image: NASA SDO/HMI

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