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Long-duration C9.4 solar flare erupts from AR 2824, generating fast CME and S1 – Minor solar radiation storm

long-duration-c9-4-solar-flare-fast-cme-s1-minor-solar-radiation-storm-may-2021

A long-duration C9.4 solar flare erupted from Active Region 2824 at 23:13 UTC on May 28, 2021, producing a strong coronal mass ejection (CME) and S1 – Minor proton radiation storm.

The flare event was associated with Type II Radio Emission with an estimated velocity of 2 087 km/s and a Type IV emission, indicating a major eruption and strong CME.

While the location of this region does not favor Earth-directed CMEs, part of the cloud might be directed toward us.

In addition, CMEs produced at the Sun's western limb can cause proton radiation storms. The explosion that creates the CME accelerates the protons around the Sun to nearly the speed of light, carrying dangerous amounts of energy that can break chemical bonds. Powerful proton storms have the potential to cause a lot of damage to space and ground-based technology.

Usually, the Earth’s atmosphere protects people from proton storms, but proton storms can interfere with ham radio communication and damage satellites, causing short circuits in electrical systems and shutting down computers. 

Luckily, the flare produced only S1 – Minor proton storm, which happens around 50 times per solar cycle. The storm started at 03:00 UTC, peaked at 03:20 at 15pfu and ended at 05:40 UTC.

This was the first S1 radiation storm event of the Solar Cycle 25.

"Solar Cycle 25 kicks things off with a bang! We have an S1 Radiation Storm! This means high latitude GPS reception and radio comms will be degraded over the next 48-72 hours. High latitude/altitude airline flights also see elevated dose rates now. High-risk passengers plz take note," Dr. Tamitha Skov said.

Featured image: CME produced by a long-duration C9.4 solar flare on May 28, 2021. Credit: NASA/ESA SOHO/LASCO C3

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