Geoeffective Region 2673 unleashed M1.2 solar flare, Earth-directed CMEs possible

Geoeffective Region 2673 unleashed M1.2 solar flare, Earth-directed CMEs possible

A large and geoeffective Active Region 2673 (beta-gamma) unleashed a moderately strong M1.2 solar flare at 05:49 UTC on September 4, 2017. The event started at 05:36 and ended at 06:05 UTC. The region increased 10-fold in a single day, suddenly becoming one of the largest regions of the year. It is currently located near the center of the Earth-facing Sun, making Earth-directed CMEs possible over the coming days.

There were no radio signatures that would suggest a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) was produced during today's M1.2 flare. However, we are still waiting for coronagraph imagery to confirm.

M1.2 solar flare September 4, 2017

M1.2 solar flare September 4, 2017M1.2 solar flare September 4, 2017 - AIA image

M1.2 solar flare September 4, 2017 - D-RAP

Region 2673, responsible for today's M1.2 and a series of C-class flares, grew vigorously in the past 24 hours with the intermediate spots contributing most of the development.

It now has a 'beta-gamma' magnetic configuration, making it capable of producing strong M-class solar flares.

Since the region is currently located near the center of the Earth-facing Sun, moderately-strong shortwave radio blackouts are possible and CMEs produced by this huge region would be Earth-directed.

Sunspots on September 4, 2017

"On Saturday, September 2, AR 2673 was an unremarkable speck largely ignored by forecasters," SpaceWeather's Dr. Tony Phillips reports. "On Sunday, September 3, it underwent a furious transformation, expanding more than 10-fold in a single day and suddenly becoming one of the largest sunspots of the year. "

Earth-directed CMEs are possible today and in the days ahead.

Featured image: M1.2 solar flare at 05:49 UTC on September 4, 2017. Credit: NASA/SDO AIA131

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