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First M-class solar flare of Solar Cycle 25 – Impulsive M1.1 at 07:24 UTC on May 29

first-m-class-solar-flare-of-solar-cycle-25-impulsive-m1-1

A moderately strong solar flare measuring M1.1 erupted at 07:24 UTC on May 29, 2020. This is the first M-class solar flare of the new solar cycle — Solar Cycle 25. The event started at 07:13, peaked at 07:24, and ended at 07:28 UTC.

The eruption took place on the Sun's eastern limb, offering no clear NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) view.

The same region, located just beyond the NE limb near N34, is also responsible for a C9.3 flare at 10:46 UTC and numerous B-class flare activity.

EIT waves have been observed from this region in STEREO A EUVI 195 imagery at 18:25 UTC on May 27, 10:25 UTC on May 28, and 07:25 UTC on May 29 along with associated coronal mass ejections off the east limb in SOHO C2 imagery at 18:48 UTC on May 27, 11:00 UTC on May 28, and 08:00 UTC on May 29.

Given its location beyond the limb, it is not expected to have any Earth-directed component.

Solar activity is likely to reach low levels with a slight chance for further M-class flare activity over the next 24 hours. 

The region just beyond the NE limb is due to rotate onto the visible disk in the next 24 hours, so magnetic complexity has yet to be determined.

Solar wind parameters were at nominal levels with solar wind speed ranging from 272-306 km/s over the past 24 hours. Total field ranged from 1-5 nT while the Bz component was between +5/-4 nT. Phi angle was predominantly oriented in a positive (away) solar sector.

Weak enhancements to the solar wind parameters are possible from May 29 to 31 due to negative CH HSS influence.

We are still in a deep solar minimum. Our Sun has been spotless for 118 days in 2020 or 79%.

This is how the Sun looked like at 06:57 UTC on May 29 as seen through the eyes of NASA's SDO/AIA 304:

Featured image: M1.1 solar flare on May 29, 2020. Credit: NASA/STEREO-A

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