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Strong M5.6 solar flare erupts from Region 2257

strong-m5-6-solar-flare-erupts-from-region-2257

A strong solar flare measuring M5.6 (R2 – Moderate radio blackout) erupted from Active Region 2257 at 04:24 UTC on January 13, 2015. The event started at 04:13 and ended at 04:38 UTC.

A 10cm Radio Burst lasting 4 minutes, with peak flux of 290 sfu, was associated with the event. 

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.

Region 2257, ('Beta-Gamma-Delta') is located near the west limb and is about to start its farside transition. If Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) was associated with this event it would most likely be directed away from our planet.

A secondary solar flare peaking at M4.9, visible on the X-ray image above, was also observed around Region 2257 at 04:58 UTC. That event started at 04:46 and ended at 05:10 UTC. LASCO coronagraph imagery did not show a CME associated with it.

Space Weather Message Code: SUMXM5
Serial Number: 133
Issue Time: 2015 Jan 13 0444 UTC

SUMMARY: X-ray Event exceeded M5
Begin Time: 2015 Jan 13 0413 UTC
Maximum Time: 2015 Jan 13 0424 UTC
End Time: 2015 Jan 13 0438 UTC
X-ray Class: M5.6
Optical Class: 2b
Location: N06W70
NOAA Scale: R2 - Moderate

NOAA Space Weather Scale descriptions can be found at
www.swpc.noaa.gov/noaa-scales-explanation

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.
Space Weather Message Code: SUM10R
Serial Number: 653
Issue Time: 2015 Jan 13 0442 UTC

SUMMARY: 10cm Radio Burst
Begin Time: 2015 Jan 13 0419 UTC
Maximum Time: 2015 Jan 13 0421 UTC
End Time: 2015 Jan 13 0423 UTC
Duration: 4 minutes
Peak Flux: 290 sfu
Latest Penticton Noon Flux: 159 sfu

NOAA Space Weather Scale descriptions can be found at
www.swpc.noaa.gov/noaa-scales-explanation

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 6 numbered sunspot regions on the Earth  side of the Sun.

Sunspots on January 13, 2015. Image credit: NASA SDO/HMI

2255 – Beta-Gamma
2257 – Beta-Gamma-Delta
2259 – Beta-Gamma
2260 – Beta
2261 – Alpha
2262 – Beta

Forecast

​Solar activity is expected to be low with a chance for an M-class flare (R1-R2/Minor-Moderate) and a slight chance for an X-class flare (R3-Strong) mainly from Regions 2257 (N07W68, Ekc/beta-gamma-delta), 2259 (S15E13, Eko/beta-gamma) and 2260 during the next three days (January 13 – 15), SWPC said.

Slightly enhanced solar wind conditions are expected today as weakening, positive polarity coronal hole high speed stream (CH HSS) effects wane. Ambient conditions are expected on January 14 and 15.

Quiet to unsettled geomagnetic conditions are expected today. Mostly quiet conditions are expected on January 14 and 15 as solar wind parameters return to ambient levels.

Featured image: NASA SDO/AIA 131 at 04:24 UTC on January 13, 2015.

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